Antony Cooke

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Antony Cooke
Antony Cooke
Antony Cooke
Background information
Also known asTony Cooke
Born (1948-08-03) 3 August 1948 (age 74)
OriginSydney, Australia
Years active39
LabelsCentaur Records

Antony Cooke (born 3 August 1948, in Sydney, Australia), is an American cellist, recording artist, former university professor, composer, and author of published books and articles on musicology and astronomy. Cooke's formal music and musicology training in London and subsequent career as a professional musician and recording artist are complemented by his intensive studies into astronomy.

Life and career[edit]

Cooke is the son of cellist Nelson R. Cooke, and was born in Sydney, Australia in 1948 while his father was playing for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.[1] The family moved to London when his father was appointed principal cellist of the London Symphony Orchestra.[2] Indeed, Nelson Cooke was recognized for his contributions to Australia in particular in 2011, when he was honored by the Governor-General of Australia with The Order of Australia AM, one of the highest awards that an Australian citizen can receive. Antony Cooke shares in his father's selection of the cello as a principal musical instrument; similarly, Antony Cooke has performed as a principal cellist and soloist in concerts throughout Europe and the United States.

Cooke was a protégé of the Helen Just who was both a cellist of the English String Quartet and a professor at the Royal College. Cooke studied theory and historical musicology under John Wilkinson, composition under Nadia Boulanger protégé John Lambert, and conducting under Sir Colin Davis.

In London, Cooke obtained Artist Diplomas from both the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. As a young BBC soloist, Cooke was regularly featured as a recitalist and concerto soloist under conductors such as Colin Davis and Harry Blech, including appearances at the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Bath International Music Festival. In 1971, he was consequently appointed principal cellist of England's premier chamber orchestra at the time, the London Mozart Players, making Cooke the youngest principal cellist in the country.

Move to the United States[edit]

Cooke moved to the United States in 1974, where he was appointed professor of cello at the University of South Florida. In 1980 Cooke was appointed Associate Professor of Cello at Northwestern University in Chicago, and was a member of the Regenstein Trio[who?] during his time there.[2]

In 1984, Cooke moved to Los Angeles, California, where he established himself as a film and television composer.[2][3] Cooke was the principal cellist in the orchestra that performed the score for Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.[4]

Cooke is a founding member of the Emerson Trio[5] with pianist Donna Coleman and violinist Endre Balogh.[6]

Cooke has authored numerous books and articles on music, astronomy and astrometeorology.

Public reception[edit]

Record reviews[edit]

Cooke has been praised for his "sterling abilities, with technical accomplishments ideally counterpoised by a fertile imagination and volcanic temperament" (Fanfare May 1996), and "rich, sonorous tone…performances involving, thoughtful and polished" (American Record Guide Nov. 2005). Cooke's recording of Kodály's Solo Cello Sonata, Op. 8 was hailed as "the finest recent performance" by Fanfare (Nov. 1998). Stereo Review (now Sound and Vision), called his recording of the Solo Sonata "vibrant and dedicated" (Feb 1998), and the American Record Guide commended Cooke as a "solid technician of unusual poise…..this CD does indeed demonstrate cello power" (Sept. 1997). Commentary in American Poems stated it was a "must own" CD. Michale Barone, in his review of Cooke's 2009 recording of the Kodály Solo Sonata, for Minnesota Public Radio Classical Show (25 March 2010), described Cooke's playing as "impassioned and exhilarating... Antony Cooke survives the challenge brilliantly!"

Of the same recording, the review in American Record Guide was less effusive: "Not my favorite reading, but a good one!" Mike D. Brownell criticized Cooke's playing for, claiming that Cooke "gets carried away musically...." "So filled with rubato is Cooke's interpretation that the usually powerful, forward-moving piece nearly comes to a stand-still on several occasions. Chords are played with a tiresome delay at the bottom half that makes Cooke's playing predictable."[7]

Astronomy book reviews[edit]

Astronomy Now remarked in May 2004 that Cooke's "Visual Astronomy in the Suburbs" (2003) is "a must buy for the city astronomer." Southern Stars (Vol. 43 (1), March 2004) stated that this book “should be considered an essential for today's amateur who has to endure light pollution". In 2005, the Journal of the Auckland Astronomical Society commented on "Visual Astronomy under Dark Skies," stating that it was "highly recommended for visual observers who want to push their eyeball observing to the limit."[citation needed]

However, Stewart Moore criticized Cooke's explanations of the basic operation of intensifiers in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association, stating that "anyone wanting detailed technical information on the operation of intensifiers will also need to look elsewhere."[8]

On "Astronomy and the Climate Crisis", Arthur Upgren for the American Library Association Choice publication (Vol. 50 (8), April, 2013) wrote: "This book thoroughly covers the ways in which global warming has been studied and conclusions drawn... a valuable addition to the literature; useful for libraries serving schools at the graduate level of study."[9]



  • Charles Ives: The Making of the Composer (2017)
  • Charles Ives and His Road to the Stars, A New Interpretation, Assessment and Guide to the Music and the Man (Estrella Books, 2013)
  • Charles Ives and His Road to the Stars, A Guide to the Music and the Man, 2nd Edition (Infinity Publishing, 2016)[23]
  • Editor: Beyond the Bow (Estrella Books, 2012)[24]
  • Charles Ives's Musical Universe (Infinity Publishing, 2015)[25]
  • The Ailments of Charles Ives and his Family (Working Title, Forthcoming Journal Article)
  • Visual Astronomy in the Suburbs: A Guide to Spectacular Viewing (Springer, 2003)[26]
  • Visual Astronomy Under Dark Skies: A New Approach to Observing Deep Space (Springer, 2005)[27]
  • An Approach to Left Hand Articulation; Florida Music Director (May 1983): 10.
  • Help with Specialized Bowing Techniques; American String Teacher (Spring 1983): 22–23.
  • Left Hand Principles for Cellists; The Instrumentalist (April 1984): 56–59.
  • Make Time for the Stars: Fitting Astronomy into Your Busy Life (Springer 2009)[28]
  • Dark Nebulae, Dark Lanes, and Dust Lanes (Springer, 2012)[29]
  • Astronomy and the Climate Crisis (Springer, 2012)[30]

Published compositions[edit]

  • Western Overture (Kendor 1979)[31]
  • Herculaneum (Kendor 1979)[31]
  • Variation on an English Air (Studio P/R 1985)[31]
  • Fantasia on a Traditional Australian Melody (Studio P/R 1985)[31]
  • Outback Work Song (Studio P/R 1986)[31]
  • Spirit of the Land (Studio P/R 1986)[31]
  • Hungarian Dance (Kjos, adapt/arr. 1990)[31]
  • Wings (music for NBC TV series; theme adapt/arr Schubert 1991)[31]


  1. ^ Bredenhorst, Karel. "Nelson Cooke –" Cellist-database / Karel Bredenhorst (cello). 4 Aug 2008. Web. 27 Sep 2011. <>.
  2. ^ a b c "PRODigital Records Artist Profile > Antony Cooke, cello". PROdigital Records. Archived from the original on 12 July 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  3. ^ "2012 Cooke-Watkins Duo". 24 April 2012. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  4. ^ Verrier, Richard (7 June 2011). "On location: L.A. session musicians score one for 'Judy Moody' film". LA Times Blogs. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  5. ^ Tager, Alexandra. "President's Chamber Music Series-The Emerson Trio". Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  6. ^ Keller, James M. "Flight of the Concord: Donna Coleman plays a great white whale of a sonata". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  7. ^ Brownell, Mike D. "Antony Cooke | The Solo Cello > Overview > AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell". AllMusic.
  8. ^ Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Vol. 115, Issue 5, p245-246, October 2005
  9. ^[dead link]
  10. ^ "Cooke, Antony - Music For Cello And Wind Orchestra". Audiophile USA.
  11. ^ "Kabalevsky / Locatelli / Antony Cooke / Armin Watkins - Cello Sonatas". Audiophile USA.
  12. ^ Myron Kartman, violin, Antony Cooke, cello, in a recital of music for violin and cello. 17 June 1981. OCLC 8793816 – via Open WorldCat.
  13. ^ "Myron Kartman, violin, Anthony Cooke, cello, in a recital of music for violin and cello [sound recording]. in SearchWorks catalog". 1981.
  14. ^ "Cooke, Anthony / Steven Brown - Music For Cello & Percussion". Audiophile USA.
  15. ^ "Centaur Records - Classical Music Label".
  16. ^ "Music: Splendors of the 20th Century (CD) by Splendors of the 20th Century / Antony Cooke, Armin Watkins". Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  17. ^ "Music: Antony Cooke: The Power of the Cello (CD) by Antony Cooke (Performer)". Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  18. ^ "Music: Rachmaninoff: Sonata in G minor; Kabalevsky: Sonata, Op. 71 (CD) by Antony Cooke (Performer) and Armon Watkins (Performer)". Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  19. ^ "Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello & Piano". 27 January 2004 – via Amazon.
  20. ^ "Music: Homage to Chopin (CD) by Antony Cooke (Performer) and Armin Watkins (Performer)". Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  21. ^[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Brahms: Three Sonatas for Cello & Piano". 22 November 2011 – via Amazon.
  23. ^ Cooke, Antony. "CHARLES IVES AND HIS ROAD TO THE STARS (Antony Cooke)—Second Edition for 2016—Full Color—Complete".
  24. ^ Lee-Wong, Dr Song Mei (26 August 2013). Beyond the Bow: Nelson Cooke's Life in Music. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1484817117.
  25. ^ Cooke, Antony (March 2015). Charles Ives's Musical Universe. Infinity Publishing. p. 582. ISBN 978-1-4958-0476-2.
  26. ^ Cooke, Antony (2003). Visual Astronomy in the Suburbs: A Guide to Spectacular Viewing. The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series. London: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-1-85233-707-0.
  27. ^ Cooke, Antony (2005). Visual Astronomy Under Dark Skies: A New Approach to Observing Deep Space. The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series. London: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-1-85233-901-2.
  28. ^ Cooke, Antony (2009). Make Time for the Stars: Fitting Astronomy into Your Busy Life. The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series. New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-0-387-89340-2.
  29. ^ Cooke, Antony (2012). Dark Nebulae, Dark Lanes, and Dust Belts. The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series. New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-1-4614-1185-7.
  30. ^ Cooke, Antony (2012). Astronomy and the Climate Crisis. Astronomers' Universe. New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-1-4614-4607-1.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h "Antony Cooke: Career, Record Reviews, Astronomy Book Reviews, Teaching Positions, Recordings, Published Books (astronomy), Published Compositions, Notes, and a List of Books by Author Antony Cooke." Trade Books for Free, Book Swap, Trade Audiobooks » PaperBack Swap. Web. 27 Sep 2011. <>.

External links[edit]