From learning the violin at age four to travelling internationally, a maestro violinist and Olympic composer is headed for Wagga.
Ian Cooper has been playing the violin for most of his life as living in the same house as the teacher meant that he couldn’t escape practice.
“I started learning the violin from my mother at age four,” he said.
“I virtually had a violin lesson every day of my life so I guess I had an unfair advantage.”
At the age of five, Mr Cooper was invited to play on Channel Seven’s 11am program.
“I played a tricky piece looking back on it, The Two Grenadiers by Schumann and I remember the TV studio lights were all very bright,” he said.
“Roger Climpson was the host and I recognised him from having seen him on the tele beforehand.”
Mr Cooper has passed the love and passion for the violin to his young son.
“Mum now teaches my nine-year-old who I invite onto the stage with me from time to time,” he said.
“He absolutely loves performing and he even gets asked to sign autographs after the shows, and he obliges too.”
One of the major highlights of Mr Cooper’s career was being commissioned to write and perform a piece for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
“That was one of the most exciting nights of my life,” he said.
”During my piece, the Tin Symphony, there were a thousand performers on the stadium floor, acrobats, tap dancers, giant Ned Kellys.
“Playing in front of such a huge and electrified audience, there was no place for nerves.
“Performance instinct took over.”
Mr Cooper later realised that the performance had been watched around the world by an estimated 2.85 billion viewers.
Mr Cooper is bringing his latest show “The Proms” - A Musical Spectacular to Wagga at the Civic Theatre on Saturday June 23.
The performances include selections from The Sound of Music, The Merry Widow, Carmen and The Waltz King - Johann Strauss. Mr Cooper promises a musical journey all across Europe.
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