Naida Margaret Cole (born 28 October 1974 in Durham, North Carolina, U.S.) is a Canadian-American concert pianist who left a successful career as a recording artist and touring musician in 2007 to pursue medicine.
Cole's website and Facebook pages state that she is a Toronto native; additionally, the personal site points out that Cole is dividing her time between the two disciplines, rather than abandoning the one outright for the other.
Cole was born in the USA, lived in Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom as a child, and moved to Canada in 1984. She graduated from The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto at the age of 13, making her the second youngest to receive the school's ARCT degree (the youngest was Glenn Gould); at RCM she studied with Marina Geringas. She later studied piano at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University with the pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher, and flute with flutist Robert Willoughby. Other studies brought her to the Fondazione Internazionale per il pianoforte in Cadenabbia, Italy, and to the University of Montreal, where she earned her Masters in Music and studied with Marc Durand. Her decision to become a pianist was made while she attended the Chetham's School of Music.
She has recorded music by Fauré, Chabrier, Satie and Ravel. She has also presented the music of Messiaen, Bartok, Beethoven, Brahms, Chabrier, Chopin, Corigliano, Debussy, Fauré, Liszt, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Schubert, Clara Schumann, Scriabin and Stravinsky. She has performed with the Toronto Symphony, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and National Arts Centre Orchestras and also with Gidon Kremer's Kremerata Baltica, the London Sinfonietta and the Munich, Warsaw and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras.
She is an exclusive Decca recording artist. Her first recording (of music by Fauré, Chabrier, Satie and Ravel) was released on Deutsche Grammophon, and was named one of the Critics’ Favourite CDs of 2001 by Gramophone Magazine. BBC Music Magazine awarded it five (out of five) stars. She has performed regularly with Gidon Kremer and with his ensemble Kremerata Baltica, and appeared on their recording After Mozart.
Naida Cole has been a Yamaha Artist since 1997.
|1.||Naida Cole: Faure, Chabrier, Satie, Ravel||Decca||13 February 2001||748 021-2|
|2.||Reflections: Ravel, Bartok, Liszt||Decca||11 February 2003||472 464-2|
- Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (1997)
- Phyllis Jones Tilley Memorial Award for Best Performance of Commissioned Work
- Steven De Groote Memorial Award for Best Performance of Chamber Music
- Juno Award (2000): Nominee, Best Classical Album (Solo or Chamber Ensemble)