Sunday, March 06, 2022 | 5:30 PM

Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Kirill Kuzmin, piano

The Mity Clarke Gann Memorial Concert

Location: Shriver Hall

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Two-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke is celebrated as a “luminous standout” (New York Times) and “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” (Opera News). She presents the East Coast Premiere of “how I find you,” a recital-length project she curated during the pandemic exploring experiences and themes of America today, including California wildfires, school shootings, working from home, race, nature, and resilience.

“A song recital by the luminous American mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke is always an event.” – Opera News

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Sasha Cooke

Two-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a “luminous standout” (The New York Times) and “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” (Opera News). Ms. Cooke 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, Ms. Cooke returns to the Metropolitan Opera for her role debut as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. On the concert stage, she joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra 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 led by Andris Nelsons. Other symphonic highlights include Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by the composer, as well as Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection with the Oregon Symphony. Finally, she gives a solo recital at the Tucson Desert Song Festival where she premieres a new work by Jennifer Higdon. 

This season also marks the release of Ms. Cooke’s new CD, entitled “How Do I Find You,” on the Pentatone label. The recording, featuring songs by Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, and Jimmy Lopez, serves as a tribute to both the struggles and hopes of artists that have been wrought by the pandemic. Ms. Cooke performs the world premiere on January 30th, 2022, as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Great Performers Series, before giving subsequent recitals at the Shriver Hall Concert Series and elsewhere. Ms. Cooke has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Gran Teatre del Liceu, among others, and with more than 70 symphony orchestras worldwide under leading conductors including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gustavo Dudamel, Franz Welser-Möst, and Bernard Haitink. Recent recordings can be found on labels including Hyperion, BIS, Chandos, and more. She studied at Rice University, The Juilliard School, and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Learn more at

“A twilight-toned mezzo, characterized by both a velvety darkness and a luminous glow” – The New York Times

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Kirill Kuzmin

Kirill Kuzmin is currently a principal coach at Houston Grand Opera. In the 2021-22 season, Mr. Kuzmin continues working on HGO music staff for productions of Dialogues des Carmélites and Turandot. He also serves as a music staff member at The Glimmerglass Festival.

He has worked on a number of productions with HGO, including Eugene Onegin (also as diction coach), Le nozze di Figaro, Faust, Giulio Cesare (also as continuo accompanist), West Side Story, as well as two of the monumental Ring cycle operas by Wagner, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. At Glimmerglass, he served as principal coach for the productions of Silent Night and La Traviata.

Recital appearances included Schwabacher Debut Recital in San Francisco (with baritone Sol Jin). In 2021, he was the pianist for video-streamed recitals with Arturo Chacun-Cruz, Sasha Cooke, and Nicholas Phan. In 2022, he will appear in a recital with Sasha Cooke at San Francisco Symphony.

A Russian native, Mr. Kuzmin spent three years with the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, first as a young artist and then as a full-time member of the music staff. During his time with the company, he served as opera coach and accompanist on a number of Russian operas, including Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges and Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride, as well as works from the standard operatic repertoire, such as Turandot, Der Rosenkavalier, La traviata, and La sonnambula. While in Moscow, he also served as pianist and coach for a number of operatic undertakings by the acclaimed Moscow Philharmonic.

Mr. Kuzmin holds degrees in piano performance from the Moscow Conservatory and in collaborative piano from the Moscow Conservatory and the University of Michigan, where he studied with renowned collaborative pianist Martin Katz.

Program Note by Sasha Cooke

View Notes

Timo Andres (b. 1985)

'Altitude' (Text by Lola Ridge) (East Coast Premiere)

Lembit Beecher (b. 1980)

'After the Fires' (Text by Liza Balkan) (East Coast Premiere)

Matt Boehler (b. 1976)

'Risk Not One' (Text by Todd Boss) (East Coast Premiere)

Christopher Cerrone (b. 1984)

'Everything Will Be Ok' (Text by John K. Samson) (East Coast Premiere)

John Glover (b. 1983)

'Spider' (Text by Kelley Rourke) (East Coast Premiere)

Gabriel Kahane (b. 1981)

'The Hazelnut Tree' (Text by Gabriel Kahane) (East Coast Premiere)

Jimmy López (b. 1978)

'Where Once We Sang' (Text by Mark Campbell) (East Coast Premiere)

Andrew Marshall (b. 1982)

'A Bad Case of the Kids' (Text by Todd Boss) (East Coast Premiere)

Missy Mazzoli (b. 1980)

'Self-Portrait with Disheveled Hair' (Text by Royce Vavrek) (East Coast Premiere)

Nico Muhly (b. 1981)

'Inward Things' (Text by Thomas Traherne) (East Coast Premiere)

Rene Orth (b. 1985)

'Dear Colleagues' (Text by Colleen Murphy) (East Coast Premiere)

Frances Pollock

'Masks Used to be Fun' (Text by Emily Roller) (East Coast Premiere)

Hilary Purrington (b. 1990)

'That Night' (Text by Mark Campbell) (East Coast Premiere)

Huang Ruo (b. 1976)

'The Work of Angels' (Text by David Henry Hwang) (East Coast Premiere)

Kamala Sankaram (b. 1978)

'Listen' (Text by Mark Campbell) (East Coast Premiere)

Caroline Shaw (b. 1982)

'How Do I Find You?' (Text by Caroline Shaw) (East Coast Premiere)

Joel Thompson (b. 1988)

'Still Waiting' (Text by Gene Scheer) (East Coast Premiere)

Program Subject to Change Without Notice