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Cook and Guzman honored for CD of premieres

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Kim Cook, distinguished professor of cello, and Christopher Guzman, associate professor of piano, were honored with an award for the Top Five CD Issues for 2018 by critics for Fanfare, one of the premiere journals of musical recordings. The CD, released by Naxos, features eight premieres by composer Paul Reale: Sonatas No. 1 and 2, Séance for Solo Cello, Four Folk Songs and the Wexford Carol. David Canfield from Fanfare praised the CD, saying, “[they] bring these works to life in spectacular fashion, evincing musicianship of the highest order.” 

Cook said she was honored Reale chose her to record his works for Naxos. "And I am delighted to have received such an enthusiastic response! These works are a valuable addition to the cello/piano repertoire."

The CD is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Reale-Chopins-Ghosts-Works-Cello/dp/B07B12HMG1.

Cook has performed as a soloist in 30 countries and has toured as Artistic Ambassador for the U.S. State Department. At her Carnegie Hall debut, critics admired her "ravishing colors and textures" (New York Concert Review). Cook’s other recordings include the concertos by Dvorak, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Saint-Saëns, Lalo, and in 2018, Schumann, Elgar and Strauss (Don Quixote) with the St. Petersburg State Symphony. Cook was named the inaugural Penn State Laureate, and recent performances include recitals in New York, Melbourne, Croatia, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine and Argentina. She is a graduate of Yale and the University of Illinois. 

Guzman is a prizewinner in many international competitions, including the Walter M. Naumburg Competition, the Seoul International Music Competition and the Isang Yun Competition of South Korea. He recently garnered the grand prize at the 10th Concours International de Piano d’Orléans in Orléans, France. This major European prize allowed him to record a CD of modern music in France, as well as tour the country giving masterclasses and performing recitals. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School.