PULLMAN, Wash. — Jazz pianist Matt Cooper will perform a program of Valentine’s Day favorites Feb. 14 on the Washington State University campus.
Cooper’s solo piano recital is set for 8 p.m. in the Kimbrough Concert Hall. It will include pieces such as Debussy’s “L’Isle Joyeuse,” George Antheil’s “Valentine Waltzes,” and additional works by Liszt, Chopin and Rameau.
Michelle Mielke, a WSU music instructor, said Cooper brings a real authenticity to the music. She said Cooper is very careful to not only portray the composer’s intent, but to bring out the highest level of musicality.
A faculty member at Eastern Oregon University since 1991, Cooper is a frequent performer, adjudicator and presenter throughout Oregon and the Northwest. He recently returned from the Russian Far East, where he was a soloist with the chamber orchestra “Gloria” and played two jazz concerts. He is a regular solo and collaborative performer on the EOU Faculty Recital Series, has performed several times with the Grande Ronde Symphony, and recently debuted with the Oregon East Symphony.
He has performed throughout the Northwest for the past three seasons with the Columbia Trio, and his duet performances with pianist Beth Tomassetti have been heard in two concert tours, on compact disc and Northwest Public Radio.
An active jazz pianist, Cooper has received third place prizes at the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition and the Great American Jazz Piano Competition. He has toured with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd and performed with many other fine jazz musicians, including Eddie Harris, Nancy King and John Stowell.
Cooper earned his graduate degrees at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. His major piano studies were with Marlene Thal at the University of Oregon, where he received his Bachelor of Music, and Frank Weinstock at the University of Cincinnati.