Is Jane Coop the Susan Lucci of the classical piano world? Since 1978, Lucci received 18 Emmy nominations, finally winning her first in 1999. With the Juno Awards gala approaching on April 1, we’re looking back at some prominent musicians whose multiple Juno nominations never yielded a trophy. Coop, a 5-time nominee, is one.
What Canadian musician isn’t hungry for a Juno? Every year musicians surrender the fruit of their recorded labours, hoping to win a Juno award, and every year four out of five nominees walk away disappointed. You know the feeling, perhaps from a job interview or a sports match where you’ve conscientiously prepared, your level of performance is unblemished, yet someone else beats you that day.
Whether you’re familiar with Coop’s piano work from her early discs, such as The Romantic Piano volumes I and II, or her later recordings of Beethoven’s sonatas for violin and piano, you recognize her reputable artistry. Among her favourite composers, Chopin appears most frequently, with Beethoven and Mozart a close second and third. As a collaborative pianist, Coop has no fewer than five discs, of which two have been Juno fodder.
Jane Coop, five-time nominee
Five times Coop was nominated for a Juno, and five times someone else took home the statue. In 2002, in the soloist with large ensemble category, her disc of British piano concertos was beat out by James Ehnes’s French Showpieces. Also in 2002, in the solo or chamber ensemble category, Coop’s disc of Beethoven’s sonatas for piano and violin with Andrew Dawes saw Angela Hewitt’s Bach Arrangements take the Juno.
Entered in the best classical composition category in 1994, Coop’s performance of Malcolm Forsyth’s Piano Concerto had more successful competition in AMICI, playing Chan Ka Nin’s Among Friends. In 1991’s solo or chamber ensemble category, Coop’s winning adversary was the Orford String Quartet, playing Schafer against her Mozart piano quartets. And in 1989 Coop’s disc of piano pieces by Mozart went down to Ofra Harnoy’s Schubert.
In no way should Coop feel affronted or disillusioned by this: consider the calibre of the company in which she’s been.
listen Witness Coop's deftness in the last movement from Britten’s Piano Concerto with the CBC Radio Orchestra led by Mario Bernardi.
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