Mezzo-Soprano Sasha Cooke Gives Her Only New York Recital of the Season as Winner of the 17th Annual Alice Tully Vocal Arts Recital Award on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall


Ms. Cooke Performs Songs by Britten, Copland, Crumb, Duparc, Poulenc, and Wolf

Start Date

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Press Release Images

Sasha Cooke (Photo by Dario Acosta)
Sasha Cooke (Photo by Dario Acosta)
Pei-Yao Wang (Photo by Hsu Pei-Hung)
Pei-Yao Wang (Photo by Hsu Pei-Hung)


Seen worldwide as Kitty Oppenheimer in the Met Opera and Grammy® Award-winning DVD of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, Sasha Cooke is critically praised for her command of Romantic and Contemporary repertoire. Ms. Cooke also appeared at the San Francisco Opera in the world premiere of Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene "in a performance of vocal majesty and theatrical clarity" (San Francisco Chronicle). She is the winner of Juilliard’s 17th Annual Alice Tully Vocal Arts Recital Award performing works by Britten, Copland, Crumb, Duparc, Poulenc, and Wolf in her Award Recital on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8 PM. She is joined by pianist Pei-Yao Wang. The program features selections from Hugo Wolf’s Mörike-Lieder; Francis Poulenc’s Cinq Poèmes de Max Jacob; two songs by Henri Duparc: L’Invitation au voyage and La vie antérieure; George Crumb’s 3 Early Songs; Benjamin Britten’s A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41; and concludes with selections from Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs. This will be Ms. Cooke’s only New York City recital this season. The Alice Tully Vocal Arts Recital Award has been awarded annually to an outstanding alumni singer; it has been endowed by the Alice Tully Foundation since 1997.

Tickets at $20 are available at www.lincolncenter.org, by calling CenterCharge (212) 721-6500, or at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office. Half-price student and senior citizen tickets at $10 are available at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office only. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu/cooke.

This season, Sasha Cooke appears with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic; Cristian Macelaru and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Tugan Sokhiev and the DSO Berlin; Cristian Macelaru and The Philadelphia Orchestra; Jean-Marie Zeitouni and the Columbus Symphony; James Gaffigan and the MDR Orchestra of Leipzig; Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and joins Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony on their European tour. Additional highlights of Ms. Cooke’s season include her debut with Opéra National de Bourdeaux, Verdi’s Requiem with Krzysztof Urbanski and the Indianapolis Symphony, as well as recitals throughout the United States and her debut at Wigmore Hall and chamber music performances in Boston, Santa Fe, New York, Portland, and Houston.

A sought-after performer and advocate of contemporary music, this season Sasha Cooke performs works by John Harbison, Philip Glass, Mohammed Fairouz, and Lowell Liebermann. Premieres of future seasons include works by Mark Gray, Jake Heggie, Laura Kaminsky, Kevin Puts, and Joby Talbot.

At the English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Cooke earned rave reviews as Kitty Oppenheimer in John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, which was broadcast worldwide on PBS and its affiliates. It was the DVD of the Met Opera’s Live in HD production, directed by Penny Woolcock, that garnered a Grammy® Award in 2012 for “Best Opera Recording.” Her recent album, If You Love for Beauty, is on Yarlung Records.

Born in California and raised in College Station, Texas, Sasha Cooke is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she received her master of music degree in 2006 and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and Young Concert Artists. She met her pianist, Pei-Yao Wang, (also a graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Program) when she participated in the finals for Young Concert Artists in 2007, and they performed recitals and conducted master classes together. They both have much in common as mothers of young children with busy performing schedules.  

Sasha Cooke’s husband, baritone Kelly Markgraf, also is a Juilliard graduate. On New Year’s Eve, they performed a program of Viennese music and Broadway show tunes together at the San Francisco Symphony’s Masquerade Ball. They’ve also performed together at Music@Menlo and at Carnegie Hall on Marilyn Horne’s The Song Continues series.

On winning the Alice Tully Recital Award, Ms. Cooke remarked: “I am honored and thrilled to be receiving this award and performing at Tully Hall with Pei-Yao. I had the most inspiring, all-consuming and whirlwind experience at Juilliard and have so much to be thankful for from my time there. It was truly amazing and now thinking back on it, it's hard to grasp how I did and sang as much as I did there. Everyday at Juilliard I learned more, exponentially, than I have in any other chapter of my life and in my career thus far, and I use all of those gifts often.”

Ms. Cooke commented on her programming: “It’s like planning a dinner…you don’t want it to be all heavy or all too light. You need an entrée, a special course.” She also is concerned with “harmony and pacing” of the program. On February 3, she is including Benjamin Britten songs to celebrate his centenary, and she wanted to include a living composer (George Crumb) and an American composer (Aaron Copland). She has included French and German songs on the program, which opens with Wolf’s Mörike-Lieder. She added: “The Wolf songs set everyone up in a warm mood. There is a glow from the songs.” The second half of the program is lighter. George Crumb’s Early Songs were composed when Crumb was 17 or 18, and he wrote the songs for his girlfriend, Elizabeth May Brown, who later became his wife. She premiered the songs, and their daughter, Ann Crumb, has recorded them. The program ends with the Copland’s Old American Songs, which will be familiar to all.

Pianist Pei-Yao Wang is widely in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared with the Stamford Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Philharmonic, and many others. Ms. Wang has collaborated with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Orion, Mendelssohn, and Miró quartets, and with musicians such as Hilary Hahn, Cho-Liang Lin, Ida and Ani Kavafian, Nicola Benedetti, Mitsuko Uchida, Peter Wiley, and David Soyer. She regularly is invited to perform chamber music at festivals such as Marlboro, Bard, and Chamber Music Northwest. Ms. Wang has given concerts throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia; including venues such as the Salle des Variétés in Monte Carlo, the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall. From 2002-04, she was a member of Chamber Music Society Two, a program to promote emerging young artists.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Pei-Yao Wang was invited at age 12 to study at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with pianists Seymour Lipkin and Gary Graffman. She then continued her studies with Claude Frank, earning her master of music degree from Yale University, where she also pursued a concentration in architecture.  Upon graduating from Yale University, she studied with celebrated pianist Richard Goode. Pei-Yao Wang is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. She has worked with noted conductors James Levine and Alan Gilbert, to name just two. She performed in the Met Opera production of Doctor Atomic by John Adams, the DVD of which received a Grammy® Award in 2012 for "Best Opera Recording."

Past recipients of the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Recital Award have included soprano Jennifer Zetlan, who recently appeared in alumnus Nico Muhly’s Two Boys at the Met; soprano Susanna Phillips, who is appearing at the Met in Die Fledermaus and Così fan tutte this season; tenor Paul Appleby, who also appeared in Two Boys at the Met; Chinese bass-baritone Shenyang, who is at the Met this season in The Magic Flute, conducted by Jane Glover and La cenerentola, conducted by Fabio Luisi.

About the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard

One of America’s most prestigious programs for educating singers, The Juilliard School’s Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts offers young artists programs tailored to their talents and needs. From bachelor and master of music degrees to advanced Artist Diploma programs in voice and opera studies, Juilliard provides frequent performance opportunities, featuring singers in its own recital halls, on Lincoln Center’s stages, and around New York City.

Juilliard graduates may be heard in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world; diverse alumni artists include well-known performers such as Edie Adams, John Aler, Faith Esham, Simon Estes, Lauren Flanigan, Renée Fleming, Anthony Dean Griffey, Barbara Hendricks, Hei-Kyung Hong, Ana María Martinez, Audra McDonald, Susanne Mentzer, Leona Mitchell, Leontyne Price, Florence Quivar, Neil Rosenshein, Risë Stevens, Tatiana Troyanos, Shirley Verrett, Veronica Villarroel, and Robert White. Recent alumni include Paul Appleby, Julie Boulianne, Sasha Cooke, Haeran Hong, Isabel Leonard, Susanna Phillips, Emalie Savoy, Shenyang, and Jennifer Zetlan, among others.

# # #



Monday, February 3, 2014, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall

Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano

Pei-Yao Wang, piano

Tickets at $20 are available at www.lincolncenter.org, by calling CenterCharge (212) 721-6500, or at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office. Half-price student and senior citizen tickets at $10 are available at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office only. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu/cooke.




Monday, February 3, 2014, 8pm

Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano

Pei-Yao Wang, piano


Hugo Wolf                                                            from Mörike-Lieder

(1860-1903)                                                                         Gebet


                                                                                                In der Frühe

                                                                                                Um Mitternacht

                                                                                                Der Tambour


Francis Poulenc                                                    Cinq Poèmes de Max Jacob                                                                       

(1899-1963)                                                                         Chanson bretonne


                                                                                                La petite servante


                                                                                                Souric et Mouric


Henri Duparc                                                        L’invitation au voyage

(1848-1933)                                                         La vie antérieure




George Crumb                                                      3 Early Songs

(b. 1929)                                                                                Night

                                                                                                Let it be Forgotten

                                                                                                Wind Elegy


Benjamin Britten                                                 A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41

(1913-1976)                                                                         A Cradle Song

                                                                                                The Highland Balou

                                                                                                Sephestia’s Lullaby

                                                                                                A Charm

                                                                                                The Nurse’s Song


Aaron Copland                                                    from Old American Songs

(1900-1990)                                                                         Simple Gifts

                                                                                                The Little Horses

                                                                                                At the River

                                                                                                Ching-a-ring chaw