Since making her concerto debut at the age of sixteen, violist Carol Cook has appeared as both a soloist and chamber musician in concert halls worldwide. A native of Scotland, Cook has performed as soloist with the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra in Boston, Edinburgh Symphony, Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, Cambridge Sinfonia, and Edinburgh Players, among others. Last season she performed alongside violinist David Perry as the viola soloist with the Chicago Philharmonic.
Cook is the newly appointed principal violist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, and has appeared as guest principal violist with numerous international orchestras, including the highly acclaimed Australian Chamber Orchestra with whom she has toured extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the US. In 2014, she also toured as guest principal with ACO2 throughout Western Australia. In addition, Cook has performed as principal violist with Sinfonia Cymru in Wales, The Princeton Symphony, and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra in Boston. She performs regularly with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has also appeared with the New York Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra.
Cook, an avid performer of chamber music, was featured on the “Rising Star” series for two years running at the Caramoor International Festival in New York, and she performed with musicians such as Donald Weilerstein, Arnold Steinhardt and Claude Frank as a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi. She is currently a member of the Rembrandt Chamber Players in Chicago, and also performs regularly with John Sharp and Liba Shacht in the newly formed string trio, Dorel Ensemble. Cook has also appeared as a chamber musician at summer festivals in Banff, Canada, the Verbier International Festival in Switzerland, and the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. As a member of the Broyhill Ensemble, Cook was a resident artist at An Appalachian Summer Festival in North Carolina for three summers. The Broyhill ensemble also released an album, Tsontakis: Piano Quartet Trilogy on the Koch label.
Cook is a former member of the Appalachia Waltz Trio with the Grammy Award-winning violinist Mark O’Connor. The trio toured extensively throughout the US. Performances included appearances at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia as part of the Welcome America festival as well as concerts at the Phoenix Symphony Hall, Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, Chambermusic Northwest Festival, National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and the 92 Street Y in New York. The trio released its debut album, Crossing Bridges, to rave reviews in November ’04. The Appalachia Waltz Trio's performances have been broadcast on NPR and streamed live over the internet as part of Arts4all’s Artspass subscription series.
Cook holds a Masters Degree from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Hsin-Yun Huang, Toby Appel, and Cynthia Phelps, and an Artist Diploma from Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with Roland Vamos. She holds a Bachelor Degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, under the instruction of David Takeno. She studied at the Verbier Academy in Switzerland for three summers with Yuri Bashmet, Paul Neubauer, and Roberto Diaz, and has also studied privately with Li-Kuo Chang.
As a native of Scotland, Carol is also an accomplished Scottish fiddler. She won her first fiddle competition at the age of eight and went on to win numerous awards for her playing, including the National Young Fiddler of the Year competition in 1992. She released a solo album the following year entitled The Cook Collection, and her playing has been featured on BBC Radio Scotland and Moray Firth Radio.
When she is not playing her viola, Carol spends as much time as possible working on her golf game and also loves to ride her road bike.
Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg Photography