Carlton Cooley

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Samuel Carlton Cooley (April 15, 1898 in Milford, New Jersey – November 1981 in Stockton, New Jersey) was an American violist and composer.

Biography[edit]

Cooley studied at the Philadelphia Musical Academy with Frederick Hahn and Camille Zeckwer, and later with Percy Goetschius and Louis Svečenski at the Institute of Musical Art (Juilliard School) in New York City.[1]

In 1919, Cooley joined the viola section of the Philadelphia Orchestra for one year before he was appointed Principal Violist of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1922, a position in which he remained until 1937. He was Principal Violist of the NBC Symphony Orchestra from 1937 to 1954 during the years of Arturo Toscanini's tenure. In 1954, upon Toscanini's retirement, Cooley joined the Philadelphia Orchestra viola section under Eugene Ormandy and was appointed Principal Violist in 1956, succeeding Harry Zaratzian. He remained with the Philadelphia Orchestra until his retirement in 1963. Cooley was also violist with the Cleveland String Quartet and NBC String Quartet.[1]

Cooley is particularly remembered for his recordings under Toscanini and Ormandy. He also recorded his own composition, Aria and Dance for viola and orchestra, with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Ormandy's baton.

Cooley was married to Ada Eleanor Strother (b. Liverpool UK 1886, d. Flemington NJ 1986) from August 26, 1923 until his death in November 1981. They had one child, Richard Strother Cooley (b. Cleveland OH 1924). He is the grandfather of fiction writer Martha Cooley (b. NJ 1955), whose novels include "The Archivist" and "Thirty Three Swoons"; attorney Seth van den Hoek Cooley (b. NJ 1957): children Ian David Cooley (b. PA 1987), Hannah Claire Cooley (b. PA 1989) and Benjamin Trevorrow Cooley (b. PA 1993); and archivist Karen Cooley Boysen (b. NJ 1962): children Cyril van den Hoek Boysen (b. CA 1992) and Aartdina Parry Boysen (b. CA 1995).

Selected works[edit]

Orchestral
  • Eastbourne Sketches for string orchestra (1925–1926, orchestrated 1941)
  1. Promenade
  2. The Downs
  3. The Punch and Judy Show
Concertante
  • Concertino for viola and orchestra (1937)
  • Aria and Dance for viola and orchestra (1965?)
Chamber and instrumental music
  • Eastbourne Sketches for string quartet (1925–1926)
  • A Song and Dance for viola and piano (1927)
  • Prelude and Gigue by Johann Sebastian Bach arranged for viola and piano (1938); original for cello solo
  • "Vexations" on a Well-known Theme (with Apology to Schumann), Comic Sketch for string quartet (1940s)
  • Etude Suite for viola solo (1962)
  1. Prelude
  2. Scherzo
  3. Thème Russe
  4. Rondino Spiccato
  • Scale Studies for Viola (1964)

Recordings[edit]

Viola
Chamber music
  • Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation Concerts, Library of Congress – Coolidge Quartet; Carlton Cooley (viola)
Johannes Brahms: String Quintet in F major, Op. 88 (1882); recorded in 1943
Johannes Brahms: String Quintet in G major, Op. 111 (1890); recorded in 1943
Johannes Brahms: String Sextet in B major, Op. 18 (1860); recorded in 1943
Johannes Brahms: String Sextet in G major, Op. 36 (1864–1865); recorded in 1943
  • Gertrude Clarke Whittall Foundation Concerts, Library of Congress – Budapest String Quartet; Carlton Cooley (viola); Benar Heifetz (cello); Daniel Saidenberg (cello)
Johannes Brahms: String Quintet in F major, Op. 88 (1882); recorded in 1952
Johannes Brahms: String Sextet in B major, Op. 18 (1860); recorded in 1948 and 1951
Johannes Brahms: String Sextet in G major, Op. 36 (1864–1865); recorded in 1948 and 1952
Antonín Dvořák: String Sextet in A major, Op. 48 (1878); recorded in 1948 and 1951
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: String Quintet in C major, K. 515 (1787); recorded in 1948
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: String Quintet in D major, K. 593 (1790); recorded in 1948
Arnold Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (1899)

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Riley, Maurice W. (1980), "Brief Biographies of Violists", The History of the Viola, Volume I, Ann Arbor, Michigan: Braun-Brumfield, p. 324 

External links[edit]