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K-State Today

May 6, 2016



Violinist Cora Cooper chosen to premiere nationally co-commissioned Sonata in the state of Kansas

By Cora Cooper

The 50 State Sonata Project dedicated to Suzuki violin pedagogue John Kendall will have performances in every U.S. state in 2016.

Cora Cooper, professor of violin and viola at Kansas State University, will give the Kansas premiere of composer Stephanie Ann Boyd's new work for violin and piano "Amerigo" this year as part of the 50 State Sonata Project. This project is a co-commission involving one violinist in every state, and is Part I of a two-year project celebrating the life and work of John Kendall, a pedagogue who helped to bring the Suzuki teaching method to America.

Boyd, who recently graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with a masters degree in composition, studied violin with Kendall while in high school in Ann Arbor and wanted to embark on a project that would showcase her love of the violin while paying adequate tribute to Kendall's worldwide musical influence.

As a performer, Cooper has recorded for NAXOS American Classics and played with the Vermont, Austin, and Tallahassee Symphonies, and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra. Research on music by women composers led to multiple performances at the Festival of Women Composers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and lectures in the U.S. and England. Published editions include the four-volume Violin Music by Women: A Graded Anthology, Easy and Progressive Violin Duets by Josephine Trott, Six Duettos by Joseph Gehot, and Six Duettos for Two Violins by Maddalena Lombardini-Sirmen.

"I'm overjoyed to be able to work with Cora on this piece," Boyd said. "Her immense artistry and extensive knowledge of contemporary music are a true boon to the project!"

"Amerigo" will have its Kansas premiere at 7:30 pm. Sept. 1 during a program at Kansas State University's All Faiths Chapel. The recital will be free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Cooper at 785-776-3408 or corac@k-state.edu, or Boyd at 734-330-0181 or stephanie@stephanieannboyd.com.

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