SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Cooper siblings – violinist Thomas and soprano Sarah Joyce – bring classical music to the Wendell Gilley Museum for a special concert in the main gallery on Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. Surrounded by the carvings of Wendell Gilley and Hank Tyler, the photos of David Speiser, and original paintings by David Sibley, they will perform selections from Louis Beydts’ “Chansons pour les oiseaux” (Songs for the Birds) as part of a wide-ranging repertoire. No fee to attend, but reservations are required at http://www.wendedllgilleymuseum.org/events. The concert also will be livecast.
They will be joined by three members of the Fermata Chamber Soloists, a Boston-based nonprofit organization co-founded by Mr. Cooper that is intent on changing the culture of classical music with experiential, community-oriented events that are fun, intense and informal while retaining the highest level of artistry. In addition to Mr. Cooper they include: cellist Alex Fowler; violist Daniel Orsen; and violinist Jessica Tsang.
Ms. Cooper has been hailed for her “meltingly beautiful” soprano by Opera News. Based in Boston, she performs throughout the United States. Most recently she has performed with Syracuse Opera as Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and with Tri-Cities Opera as Sally in the new opera Stone Soup, by Joe Illick. This fall she will appear with Opera Ithaca as Anna in a film version of Verdi’s Nabucco and as the Little Zegner daughter in Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up. She is also slated to appear with the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915.
Mr. Cooper has established himself as one of the most dynamic young musicians and leaders of his generation. A three-time winner of New England Conservatory’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship award, he has been hailed as a “stop in your tracks stunner” as a violinist whose playing is “delightfully spirited [with a] rich tone.” As an orchestral player, Cooper is concertmaster of the Du Bois Orchestra of Harvard, a group dedicated to performing works by historically marginalized composers. Additionally, he performs with the Boston Philharmonic, Portland’s Palaver Strings, and the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra. And as a soloist, he has appeared with American orchestras including the Colorado College Festival Orchestra, the Coeur D’Alene Symphony Orchestra, the Credo Baroque Orchestra, the Du Bois Orchestra of Harvard, and the Middlesex Chamber Orchestra among others.
Mr. Fowler, a cellist, has performed with the Community Performances and Partnerships Program as a Musical Storytelling Fellow and as a chamber musician with Boston Symphony Orchestra Prelude Concerts. He is the recipient of the 2019 John Cage Award for Contemporary Performance and the 2020 Spark Award. He currently performs with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and as principal cellist with the DuBois Orchestra.
Mr. Orsen is a violist with a keen interest in culture and intellectual history, currently manifesting itself in “Wagner’s Nightmare” – a year-long exploration of Richard Wagner which will culminate in an album of music “that Wagner would not like,” says Mr. Orsen. “Wagner’s Nightmare” is Daniel’s second collaboration with pianist Pierre-Nicolas Colombat, after their debut recording of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata. He founded and for two years directed Jamaica Plain Chamber Music, and performs regularly at chamber festivals such as Krzyzowa Music, Taos, Ravinia, and Verbier. He has performed alongside luminaries such as Itzhak Perlman, Eckart Runge, and the Jasper String Quartet. As a soloist he has performed with the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra and Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Ms. Tsang is a Chinese-Canadian violinist born in Hong Kong, and developed a passion for classical music growing up in Toronto. She performs regularly as a soloist, orchestral player, and chamber musician in Italy, China, Canada, and the United States. She is the founding performer of a social platform for musicians called Sparkgig.