Pianist Imogen Cooper has been especially renowned for her Mozart interpretations. A supremely versatile artist, she has performed as a solo recitalist, a chamber player, a concerto soloist, and a vocal accompanist.
Cooper was born on August 28, 1949, in London. Her father, Martin Cooper, was a musicologist. Cooper's training had both French and classic Austrian elements: she enrolled as a preteen at the Paris Conservatory for studies with Jacques Février and Yvonne Lefébure, taking the school's coveted First Prize in piano. Cooper went on to Vienna for studies with the great Classical-period specialists Alfred Brendel, Paul Badura-Skoda, and Jörg Demus. Her London career was launched in 1969 with the Mozart Memorial Prize, and she has gone on to a schedule of international performances that have included multiple appearances with the London Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Boston Symphony, among others; in Boston, she was immediately invited for a return visit by conductor Seiji Ozawa. Cooper has been active as an accompanist, most often to baritone Wolfgang Holzmair. She has played chamber music with the Belcea Quartet, among others. Her repertory includes all five of Beethoven's piano concertos and most of Mozart's mature concertos; she has also often played the piano concertos of Chopin, Piano Concerto in G major of Ravel, the Piano Concerto in A major Op. 54, of Schumann, and the Piano Concerto No. 3 of Bartók. Cooper has also given the premieres of several significant contemporary works, including Thomas Adès's Traced Overhead (1996) and Deirdre Gribbin's Decorated Skin (2003).
In the 1980s, Cooper issued an acclaimed cycle of piano music from the last six years of Schubert's life. As a recording artist, she has been associated mostly with the Philips, Avie, and, most recently, Chandos labels; on Chandos, she issued the album Iberia y Francia in 2019.