Quick Q and A with Robert Cohen – curious arts

Since this is a Q and A, let’s begin with the question; who is Robert Cohen?

Robert Cohen is a world renowned cellist, member of the Fine Arts Quartet, and has been the University of Alberta’s Distinguished Visitor for the last week!
Currently, Robert Cohen teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England and often receives invitations to visit universities to give lectures and host masterclasses.

Two years ago, Robert Cohen performed with the Fine Arts Quartet at the ECMS’s Summer Solstice Music Festival, where Dr. Patricia Tao first saw him perform.
Dr. Tao found both his musical talent and affinity for teaching to be extremely inspiring and decided she wanted U of A students to have the opportunity to learn from such a passionate musician.

We were fortunate enough to ask Robert Cohen some questions about performing and his concert with Dr. Tao on February 2nd; here were his responses!

How Can A Student Know If A Career In Performance Is Right For Them?

“There are some questions music students considering a performance career should ask themselves:

  1.  Is it your vocation?
  2.  Can you commit 110% to being musician?
  3.  Do you feel comfortable performing on stage to an audience?

If your answers are yes, you will find your way, discover how privileged you are, and deal with the tough road ahead. If you have doubts, you should take the blessing of having music in your life, but find a different career in which you can find fulfilment.”

What Is Something You Think Students Should Know About a Career In Performance?

“I often explain that even if you have a highly successful performing career, you can count the number of minutes you actually spend performing, compared to the thousands of hours you spend practicing, rehearsing, travelling and organizing your life. If you find those minutes do not enhance your life (and hopefully the lives of others), you are probably in the wrong job!”

What Can The Audience Expect For Your Concert On February 2nd?

“Patricia Tao and I will perform a program that communicates some of the most powerful, profound and passionate music written for cello and piano. This is music that perfectly presents the extraordinary potential in both instruments, from the soulful to the exuberantly brilliant.”

Hopefully you got to enjoy some of the events hosted by Robert Cohen and the Department of Music throughout the week!

Some other special guest workshops we have coming up include Rob Herriot’s voice master class and Gregory Sioles’ piano master class. You can find more information on the music events calendar:


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