The Canadian pianist and teacher, Jane (Austin) Coop, grew up in Calgary (from 1952) and studied there with Alexandra Munn and Gladys Egbert. She continued her studies from 1968 to 1972 with Anton Kuerti in Toronto. She won the CBC Talent Festival in 1970, the W.O. Forsyth Memorial Scholarship (for study in Europe) in 1971, and the Baldwin Prize in the Maryland International Piano Competition in 1972. She studied in 1972-1973 with various teachers, including Peter Feuchtwanger, in London and in 1973-1974 with Leon Fleisher in Baltimore. She moved back to Toronto but, with the assistance of two Canada Council grants, continued to study with Leon Fleisher until 1976. She received her Artist Diploma from the Toronto University in 1971, B MUS from the Toronto University in 1972, and M MUS from Peabody Conservatory in 1974. In 1975 she won the Washington International Competition, and also the only prize for piano performance awarded in the New York Concert Artists' Guild Competition. In 1977 she was a finalist in the Munich International Piano Competition (Bavarian State Radio).
Jane Coop made her debut at the St Lawrence Centre in 1973. Between 1969 and 1980 she appeared 10 times with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; she also played with the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra in 1972 and with the Calgary Philharmonic in 1976. She was a member in 1975-1976 of the Harvard Summer School Chamber Players and in 1976 toured in New England with the NACO. In 1979 she gave her London debut in Wigmore Hall.
Jane Coop is one of the most in demand and established pianists Canada has ever produced. With performances in halls around the world, she consistently engages audiences with her inspired performances and exhilarating programming. She has toured extensively throughout North America, Britain, Western and Eastern Europe, Russia. She toured Asia in 1994, performing in Japan, China, and Hong Kong. She has appeared as recitalist or soloist in, among other places, New York, London, Washington, Moscow, Paris, Warsaw, Brussels, Budapest, Kiev, St. Petersburg, Prague, Utrecht, Beijing and Tokyo.
As a concerto soloist, Jane Coop has worked with such eminent conductors as John Eliot Gardiner, Andrew Davis, and Rudolf Barshai. She has also appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, National Taiwan Symphony, and Bavarian Radio Orchestra. She also played on numerous occasions in the USA (eg, with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Oregon Symphony Orchestra) and in Canada with all major orchestras including the NACO, and the Edmonton Symphony, Saskatoon Symphony, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Equally at home in chamber repertoire, Jane Coop has collaborated with many of Canada’s leading instrumentalists and is frequently invited to perform at chamber festivals throughout North America. She has played with such chamber ensembles as the Orford, Purcell, and Colorado string quartets and the York Winds. Active as an accompanist too, she played in recitals of Lieder and art songs with Ingemar Korjus, Rosemarie Landry, Janet Stubbs, and Catherine Robbin. With violinist Andrew Dawes, the two performed the complete L.v. Beethoven Sonata Cycle throughout Canada. She also performed chamber music with violinist Martin Beaver, and others.
In 2005-2006 season Jane Coop continued her performances throughout Canada with highlights including recital tours of British Columbia and Ontario. In 2006-2007 season she performed with such orchestras as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (her 12th performance with the this orchestra, under Bramwell Tovey) and Scotia Symphony.
Jane Coop's repertoire ranged widely over works from the 18th to the 20th centuries; her approach was as versatile as it was sensitive and persuasive. A pianist of superb technique, consummate musicianship, and enormous energy, her performances were compelling and always memorable. She is a Steinway Artist.
Jane Coop was Kuerti's teaching assistant in Toronto from 1976 to 1980, then she began teaching at the University of British Columbia, where as of 2003 she remained as professor of piano and chamber music. She currently resides in Vancouver, where she is Professor of Music and Head of the Keyboard Division at the University of British Columbia in the winter, and is resident artist at the prestigious Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine, in the summer, where she performs with members of the Juilliard Quartet and other eminent musicians. In 1989 she received a Killam Research Prize at the University of British Columbia. Earlier she created, with her husband, radio and festival producer George Laverock, the Skylark recording label. She appeared at festivals including Festival Vancouver and the Kneisel Hall Festival in Maine, gave master-classes, and served on juries including for the E-Gré and Dublin International piano competitions.
As a recording artist, Jane Coop has received international praise for her 15 releases for the Skylark, CBC and Centaur labels. She has recorded seven concertos as well as many of the great solo masterworks of Haydn, Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, Schubert, Robert Schumann, Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Debussy and Ravel. She has recorded with Maestro Mario Bernardi two full CD's of concertos. Her first recording was with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and her second concerto disc, with the CBC Radio Orchestra. She has made landmark chamber recordings, such as her recent cycle of L.v. Beethoven's Piano and Violin Sonatas with violinist Andrew Dawes. Her recordings have received multiple Juno nominations [Canada's highest recording honour] and continue to garner such praises as “one of the finest Chopin discs of the decade” [InTune Magazine] and “Coop is totally convincing through-out, with an ear for beautiful phrasing and delicate texture amidst the vigorous bravura displays.” [Wholenote Magazine]. Throughout her career she also played frequently on radio - including CBC, BBC, KRO (Holland), Polish Radio (Warsaw), NPR, and CJRT - and on television. Her premieres include Kristi Allik's Fragments (London, 1979), Stephen Chatman's Black and White Fantasy (Winnipeg, 1981), John Beckwith's Etudes (Vancouver, 1984), Jean Coulthard's Sonata No. 2 (Vancouver, 1989), and the world premiere recording of Malcolm Forsyth's Piano Concerto (SMCD, 1993).