Dr. James Cook

Professor of Music, Piano

Office: FAB 250   |    Phone: (308) 865-8611   |    Email: cookj@unk.edu

Dr. James Cook


Nebraska’s internationally recognized pianist, James Cook has performed in cities that include Berlin, Budapest, Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, Leipzig, Madrid, Mexico City, Minsk, Montreal, Munich, Quebec City, Rostock, St. Louis, San Antonio, Seville, Stockholm, Vienna and Warsaw. Included were performances at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music, Hochschule für Musik Hans Eisler in Berlin, Budapest Concert Orchestra, Ludwig Maximilian University-Munich, University of Madrid, and others. A performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the Budapest Concert Orchestra was described as “…sensitive style, singing touching of the piano keys, grandiose forming of melodies and the authentic way of his interpreting....was rated highly among the musical experts and the audience." A specialist of the music of Frederic Chopin, Cook’s repertoire includes over thirty of Chopin’s piano works.  Other repertoire includes fourteen piano concertos and numerous works of W.A. Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninov, Sergei Prokofiev.

James Cook received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the UMKC Conservatory of Music where he studied with Professor Joanne Baker.  He completed his doctoral studies at the University of Texas at Austin with Dr. William Race.  Dr. Cook’s piano students at UNK have been among Nebraska’s most successful college pianists, several having received graduate teaching assistantships and completed graduate degrees at the University of Michigan, Baylor University, University of Nevada and other universities. Cook has presented recitals in numerous Nebraska communities, most recently in Plainview, Nebraska.  He represents UNK in on-campus faculty recitals, special performance activities at the Museum of Nebraska Art, UNK Family Day, UNK Wind Ensemble, and Kearney High School Camerata Orchestra. Cook is a recipient of the University of Nebraska Outstanding Research and Creativity Award.  Dr. Cook teaches Applied Piano, Piano Techniques, Amadeus (portal class) and Appreciation of Music for Honors Program students.