After the release of Kim Cook’s recording of the Shostakovich Concerto and the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations with the Volgograd Symphony, Fanfare Magazine praised her “glorious sound”, and critics from Gramophone described her playing as “eloquent.” Ms. Cook has performed to critical acclaim as a soloist in 28 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). In Europe, she was hailed as “the superb American cellist” (Die Rheinpfalz, Frankfurt). Ms. Cook’s recordings include the Concertos by Dvorak, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Saint-Saëns, and Lalo, as well as the solo sonatas by Kodaly, Crumb, and Hindemith. In 2008-09, Cook was named the Inaugural Penn State Laureate. Recent performances include recitals in New York, Baltimore, and the University of Cambridge, and concerto performances with the Splitski Virtuozi in Croatia, the Volgograd Symphony in Russia, and the Ukrainian State Orchestra in Kiev.
A graduate of Yale and the University of Illinois, Ms. Cook studied with Gabriel Magyar, Aldo Parisot, Alan Harris, and Janos Starker. She was Principal Cellist of the São Paulo Symphony under the direction of Eleazar de Carvalho, and taught at New Mexico State prior to her position as Distinguished Professor of Cello at Penn State, where she has served for 25 years. At Penn State, Ms. Cook’s cello studio has attracted talented cellists from Europe, Asia, South America and the United States, and her former students currently occupy positions in orchestras and music schools in the United States, Sweden, Germany, Brazil, Croatia, and Taiwan. She lives in State College with her husband Peter Heaney, Professor of Geosciences.