Cellist Nathan Cook has been praised for his “authoritative yet relaxed” playing, his “sweet and pliant” sound, and “the combination of vigor and beauty” in his interpretation (Houston Chronicle). He performs regularly with The Exorior Duo, and he is Artistic Director of the Hot Earth Ensemble, a group dedicated to performing music of the Baroque period. Cook’s solo, concerto, and chamber performances have been heard regionally and nationally in Canada on CBC Radio, and regionally in the United States on NPR stations in Buffalo, New York; Houston, Texas; and across Iowa. Cook has served as the principal cellist of the Houston Chamber Orchestra and of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and he has become a regular fixture as well at the annual Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival (CVCMF) in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls region in Iowa.
Named using the Latin word for “to spring up” or “to appear,” the Exorior Duo engages actively in the commissioning of new works for flute and cello. Recently the duo commissioned and premiered Duo for flute and cello (2012) from Houston-based, Canadian composer Karim Al-Zand. The duo has also formed the Flute/Cello Commissioning Circle along with U.S.-based ensembles Terra Voce, Brownard Duo, and Keowee Chamber Music, and the European-based Antares Project. Together, the Circle has begun commissioning works for this duo combination. An international award-winning composition (Dviraag) by Asha Srinivasan, given its Canadian premiere by the Exorior Duo, has already resulted from this collaboration.
Cook hails from Appleton, Wisconsin and holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Grinnell College in Iowa as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Colgate University in New York. Dr. Cook received his masters and doctoral degrees in music at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas where he studied with Norman Fischer. Cook’s other teachers have included Terry King, Evan Jones, Richard Eckert, Andre Emelianoff and Einar Holm.