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Elizabeth Cooney

violin

'Vrebalov's Spell III, a mesmerising piece for violin interacting with live electronics and pre-recorded choral fragments.'    BBC Music Magazine

 

The intricate texture of Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov's The Spell III for violin and live electronics are described with infinite care by Elizabeth Cooney.'   The Strad

Elizabeth is one of the most talented violinists to have emerged from Ireland and performs internationally as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. Now London based, she was most recently guest leader of the dynamic and exciting Aurora Orchestra at the Oxford Lieder Festival, having toured with them to Australia in October 2014 as principal violin at the Melbourne Arts Festival for their residency there. She has also been invited as guest principal to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Northern Sinfonia orchestras.

She has performed as soloist many times with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, having toured with them and appearing on RTE TV Symphony Sessions performing Ravel's Tzigane and Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy. She will join them again in April 2015 as soloist on tour performing Sibelius' Violin Concerto.  Other orchestras she has appeared as soloist with include the Musica Vitae Chamber Orchestra of Sweden, the Slovenian Philharmonic, the Ulster Orchestra (with whom she recorded Mozart's Concerto no.1 for BBC Radio 3) and the RTE Concert Orchestra.

Elizabeth is a keen chamber musician and has performed with pianists John O'Conor, Finghin Collins, Cristina Ortiz, Huw Watkins and Mei Yi Foo among others. She has performed chamber music recitals at the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room, the Conway Hall in London, the Weill Hall at Carnegie and at many of the major festivals including Canterbury, Cambridge, West Cork Chamber Music, Edinburgh Fringe and the Musica Nova Festival in Brazil.

Last year Elizabeth collaborated with pianist Finghin Collins and cellist Marc Coppey for a tour supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and in 2015 she will again tour with Finghin performing repertoire for piano and violin by Schubert, Elgar and Szymanowski. Her passion for the advocacy of new music is constant and she has given world premieres of music by Mark Anthony Turnage, Alexandra Vrebalov (recording her 'Spell III' for solo violin and electronics for CD on the LCM label to critical acclaim), Valentyn Silvestrov, Huw Watkins, Alexander Knaifel, Greg Caffrey, Garret Sholdice to name but a few. Her repertoire is diverse and ever expanding as is her curiosity to perform in venues that are not necessarily conventional for the classical musician. Hence in January 2015 Elizabeth will perform at London's renowned Ronnie Scott's with acclaimed violinist Lizzie Ball at her series called Classicalkicks.'Elizabeth also performed a double violin concerto for Violin and Fiddle (Irish traditional fiddle played by Nollaig Casey) by living US composer Evan Chambers at the Weill Hall at Carnegie with the Royal Irish Academy of Music Chamber Orchestra.

CD recordings include a disc for Toccata Classics of the piano trios of Salomon Jadassohn with the Syrius Piano Trio and a disc of works for violin and piano by Brahms, Schumann and Wieniawski with pianist Daniel Hill. Elizabeth is laureate of numerous international competitions including second prize and audience prize at the Sion Valais International Violin Competition, Switzerland and was selected as the National Concert Hall of Ireland's Rising Star 2006. Winning the Strings Final of Ireland's RTE Musician of the Future Competition at a young age, Elizabeth went on to win the Seymour Whinyates Prize for Strings and the Ian Stoutzker Award for Violin at the RCM London as well as prizes from the Maisie Lewis Trust and the Martin Musical Fund.  She is fascinated by the art of pedagogy and continues to teach violin at masterclasses, in workshops and privately, believing in the importance of sharing musical knowledge with violinists young and old.

Starting violin at the age of five in the Suzuki method in Cork with Patsy Kelleher, she then studied at the CSM with Adrian Petcu.  She subsequently studied at London's Royal College of Music where she obtained a BMus Hons degree and a PG Dip Hons in Performance on scholarship with Itzhak Rashkovsky, Elizabeth progressed to become assistant violin teacher to Professor Rashkovsky during her two years as Junior Fellow at the RCM. Since then she has been guest leader for the orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, the Oxford Philomusica, the RTE Concert Orchestra and has toured with the English Chamber Orchestra in the last two years to Mexico, Spain, Siberia and Slovakia. She has also toured in the past as part of Camerata Ireland and pianist Barry Douglas as well as performing with the John Wilson Orchestra.

 

 

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Discography

Elizabeth has made several CD recordings;  most recently she gave the world premiere recording of Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov's  ‘The Spell III' for solo violin and live electronics on Louth Contemporary Music's CD entitled Path which was critically acclaimed - 'The intricate texture of Serbian composer's (piece as above) are described with infinite care by Elizabeth Cooney' (The Strad, January 2011).   Last year she released a disc of trios by Salomon Jadassohn  with her piano trio for Toccata Classics of which was reviewed - 'The Syrius Trio play it (the Jadassohn chamber works) with an unfailingly graceful and light touch that seems sure to endear these pieces to music lovers with a sweet tooth'  (Michael Dervan, The Irish Times, April 2010).   Her 'Debut' CD with pianist Daniel Hill of works by Brahms, Robert and Clara Schumann as well as Wieniawski was also critically acclaimed -'Cooney impresses with her technical command and her shapely, passionate and considered playing' (www.classicalsource.com, 2006)

 

'Debut' CD 

Recorded at The Royal College of Music Studios, London

available on www.tzarrecords.com  and www.towerrecords.com

and can be downloaded on Apple itunes.

The young Cornish pianist Daniel Hill accompanies her in Brahms's Second Sonata, a rich and thoughtful performance, while Wieniawski's Fantasy on 'Faust' demonstrates her remarkable virtuosity.  Robert Schumann's First Sonata and a Romance by Clara Schumann complete this fine disc.  (Debut Elizabeth Cooney )

 

Tzar Records TZ0003) **** Ian Fox, Sunday Tribune 28.03.05


CD Review by Carlos Rivera March 2006
www.classicalsource.com

Elizabeth Cooney impresses with her technical command and her shapely, passionate and considered playing. Phrases are neatly turned and she is not afraid to coarsen her tone to underline particular expression, especially in the Schumann sonata with which the CD begins.  Her's is open and natural playing, confiding when needed, and expressively coloured to widen the range of the music.


The concentrated Schumann work is notably successful, poised in tempo and not unaware of the music’s ardour and vulnerability.  Following is Robert’s beloved Clara for one of her Romances (somewhat difficult to decipher on the back cover’s gold letters on a white background!) 'it’s a pleasing piece played here with intensity.  Brahms’s A major sonata receives a considered performance, one of classical structuring and Romantic sensibility; contrasts are effectively brought out, and one senses a real rapport between violinist and pianist in what is, after all, a duo-sonata.  Indeed, Daniel Hill brings virtuosity and consideration to his role, and Cooney continues to impress with her unaffected but deeply-felt playing.  Wieniawski’s showpiece fantasy on Gounod’s “Faust' is, as music, something of a haul over its (here) 17-minute length; but there’s no doubting the dedication these artists bring to a genre that has somewhat disappeared from view these days; this confection is effective in its way and Cooney and Hill make a strong case for this melodramatic potpourri.


This is a fine calling-card, and sometimes more than that, for these musicians, both of whom one wants to hear more of.  Good on Tzar Records for issuing this CD; the recording itself is well-balanced if a little restricted and anyone interested in upcoming musicians shouldn’t hesitate.


 
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