Sasha Cooke

Two-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a “luminous standout” (New York Times) and an artist with “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” (Opera News). She is sought after by the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies and chamber music ensembles for her versatile repertoire and commitment to new music.

In the 2021-2022 season, Cooke returned to the Metropolitan Opera for her role debut as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. On the concert stage, she joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra first for performances of Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, conducted by Jakub Hrůša, and then again as Margret in Wozzeck, both in Boston and on tour at Carnegie Hall under Andris Nelsons. She also joined the Minnesota Orchestra for Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and subsequently for Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, the latter conducted by Osmo Vänskä. Additionally, she performed Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by the composer; scenes from Nadia Boulanger’s Faust et Hélène with the Houston Symphony, led by Fabien Gabel; Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Karina Canellakis; Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict with the Festival de la Côte Saint-André, led by John Nelson; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) with the Oregon Symphony; Jake Heggie’s The Work at Hand and Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, led by Gemma New; Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the New World Symphony, and a holiday concert with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. Finally, she gave a recital at the Tucson Desert Song Festival, joined by pianist Myra Huang, where she premiered a new work by Jennifer Higdon.

This season also marks the release of Cooke’s new CD, titled how do I find you, on Pentatone. The recording, which features songs by Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli and Jimmy Lopez, among others, is intended as a tribute to both the struggles and hopes of artists during the pandemic. All 17 songs were written in 2020. Cooke performed the world premiere on Jan. 30, 2022, as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Great Performers Series, before giving subsequent recitals at the Shriver Hall Concert Series and elsewhere with pianist Kirill Kuzmin.

Also in 2020-2021, Cooke sang a solo recital at Houston Grand Opera with pianist Kirill Kuzmin, performed Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Vasily Petrenko and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and joined the Cincinnati May Festival for Copland’s Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson. She also made her debut at Bard SummerScape as Genièvre in Chausson’s Le roi Arthus, sang Jan Arnold in a new recording of Joby Talbot’s Everest with Opera Parallèle and returned to Dallas Opera for a pops concert.

Cooke has performed with opera companies worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Israeli Opera and English National Opera. Over her career, she has been engaged by more than 70 orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, New Zealand Symphony, Orchestre Métropolitain de Montreal and New World Symphony, under leading conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gustavo Dudamel, Bernard Haitink, Edo de Waart, Trevor Pinnock, Harry Bicket, Pinchas Zukerman, Gerard Schwarz, Riccardo Frizza, Sir Mark Elder and Krzysztof Urbański.

A devoted interpreter of new music, Cooke has premiered works by Mark Adamo, Mason Bates, William Bolcom, Pierre Jalbert, Laura Kaminsky, Lowell Liebermann, Nico Muhly, John Musto, Marc Neikrug, Kevin Puts, Augusta Read Thomas and Joby Talbot.

Her recordings can be found on the Hyperion, BIS, Chandos, Pentatone, Naxos, Bridge Records, Yarlung, GPR Records and Sono Luminus labels. Most recently she appeared on Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer on Pentatone, L’enfance du Christ with Sir Andrew Davis and the Melbourne Symphony on Chandos, Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs on Pentatone (which won the 2019 Grammy Award for best opera recording), Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra on BIS, Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke with the San Francisco Symphony (which won the 2021 Grammy Award for best classical compendium) and Sasha Cooke LIVE, a collection of her performances at the Music@Menlo chamber music festival.

Cooke is a graduate of Rice University and the Juilliard School. She also attended the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, Wolf Trap Foundation, Marlboro Music Festival, Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and Seattle Opera’s and Central City Opera’s training programs.