A flute player’s farewell

THE SOUND OF SILVER: Gisborne flute player Anna Cooper will perform in a farewell concert at St Andrew’s Church on Sunday before she flies to the Netherlands for further study. Picture by Paul Rickard

A “gorgeous flute part” played by Gisborne musician Anna Cooper in the 2015 Gisborne Choral Society and Civic Orchestra production of The Armed Man set the benchmark incredibly high, says soprano Catherine Macdonald.

“She was still at school at that stage, and her playing was brilliant. She has always been a willing community musician which has been a real boon.”

Cooper has come a long way since then and is poised to head for the Netherlands for post-graduate study. On Sunday she will perform in a farewell/fundraising concert. Among the pieces she will perform are works by Bach, French wind instrument composer Jules Mouquet, 20th century English composer John Rutter and Ian Clarke, whose composition Orange Dawn is one Cooper performed as a Gisborne International Music Competition semifinalist in 2015.

Clarke’s work was inspired by sunrise and awakening wildlife in Africa. Clarke builds a sense of drama and rising power in Orange Dawn with trills and flocks of notes demanded in complex code beyond ordinary notation, said Cooper.

Last year, Cooper was awarded the Giese Flute Grant, a grant awarded each year to a promising young flute player. The award will help fund study for her Masters in Performance Flute in the Netherlands this year.

The former Gisborne Girls’ High School student teaches flute in Auckland, has an honours degree in music from the University of Auckland and was a member of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra in 2014 and 2016.

She was a semi-finalist in the Gisborne International Music Competition in 2015 and 2016 and won the woodwind prize at the same competition in 2016. Last year, she was a member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Fellowship programme.

Cooper’s first instrument was the flute, which she picked up at the age of 12. She rose through the grades to gain her Associate of Trinity College London diploma for Flute Performance with Distinction, at the age of 16.

In 2011, she was part of the Symphony Orchestra Young Mentors programme and two years later visited New York on an all-expenses-paid trip to play with the World Peace Orchestra.

Two years ago a performance described by judges as “elegant” and “enchanting” earned her first place in the 2016 University of Auckland Graduation Gala Concerto Competition.

Cooper will be joined by pianists Coralie Hunter and Nicholas Allan, and Janet Roderick on violin, for her farewell performance as part of the St Andrew’s Concert Series on Sunday at 2pm.

A “gorgeous flute part” played by Gisborne musician Anna Cooper in the 2015 Gisborne Choral Society and Civic Orchestra production of The Armed Man set the benchmark incredibly high, says soprano Catherine Macdonald.

“She was still at school at that stage, and her playing was brilliant. She has always been a willing community musician which has been a real boon.”

Cooper has come a long way since then and is poised to head for the Netherlands for post-graduate study. On Sunday she will perform in a farewell/fundraising concert. Among the pieces she will perform are works by Bach, French wind instrument composer Jules Mouquet, 20th century English composer John Rutter and Ian Clarke, whose composition Orange Dawn is one Cooper performed as a Gisborne International Music Competition semifinalist in 2015.

Clarke’s work was inspired by sunrise and awakening wildlife in Africa. Clarke builds a sense of drama and rising power in Orange Dawn with trills and flocks of notes demanded in complex code beyond ordinary notation, said Cooper.

Last year, Cooper was awarded the Giese Flute Grant, a grant awarded each year to a promising young flute player. The award will help fund study for her Masters in Performance Flute in the Netherlands this year.

The former Gisborne Girls’ High School student teaches flute in Auckland, has an honours degree in music from the University of Auckland and was a member of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra in 2014 and 2016.

She was a semi-finalist in the Gisborne International Music Competition in 2015 and 2016 and won the woodwind prize at the same competition in 2016. Last year, she was a member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Fellowship programme.

Cooper’s first instrument was the flute, which she picked up at the age of 12. She rose through the grades to gain her Associate of Trinity College London diploma for Flute Performance with Distinction, at the age of 16.

In 2011, she was part of the Symphony Orchestra Young Mentors programme and two years later visited New York on an all-expenses-paid trip to play with the World Peace Orchestra.

Two years ago a performance described by judges as “elegant” and “enchanting” earned her first place in the 2016 University of Auckland Graduation Gala Concerto Competition.

Cooper will be joined by pianists Coralie Hunter and Nicholas Allan, and Janet Roderick on violin, for her farewell performance as part of the St Andrew’s Concert Series on Sunday at 2pm.

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