Interview: Colorado Symphony oboist Peter Cooper gears up for the spotlight

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2min 52sec
Photo: Peter Cooper, Colorado Symphony oboe
Oboist Peter Cooper of the Colorado Symphony

Colorado Symphony principal oboist Peter Cooper gets the opportunity to step into an unusual position this weekend at Boettcher Concert Hall: front and center, as soloist in Eric Ewazen’s oboe concerto “Down a River of Time.”

“It’s always exciting to stand up in front of the orchestra,” Cooper said. “And I always feel kind of honored that they’re letting me do it.”

Ewazen wrote "Down a River of Time" for a different oboist, Linda Strommen, as a memorial tribute to her father. It became and even more personal expression when Ewazen lost his own father.

“Everybody who has some regret—which is pretty much everybody—can relate to it,” Cooper noted. “Ewazen captures the universal emotions of grief, of elation, of nostalgia, of happiness, of contemplation. Those emotions are relevant to everybody."

The oboe is an ideal instrument to take the starring role in a piece about memory, loss and grief, Cooper said.

“The oboe is a great outlet of longing,” he added. “A concerto like this, which is all emotion and connection with the audience, it’s just what I want to do.”

Click the audio link above to hear more of Cooper’s conversation with CPR Classical's David Rutherford, and visit the classical calendar for more on this weekend’s program at the Colorado Symphony. The concerts also feature the world premiere of music by another of the Symphony’s own: principal timpanist Bill Hill.