Calum Cook, born in Inverness, Scotland, is the Principal Cello with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and also the newest member of the Grant Park Festival Orchestra cello section.
Calum studied in the U.K. at St. Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh and the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey before winning a Scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London.
A multiple prize winner at Royal College of Music, Calum has performed all over Europe, as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician. In addition to making his concerto debut at the age of 15, Calum has given concerto performances throughout the U.K. as well as chamber music performances at the Fairfield Hall and Wigmore Halls in London, and at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.
Soon after graduating, Calum began focusing on his orchestral career and won the position of Sub-Principal Cello in the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, which he held for 10 years. He also worked as guest Principal Cello with many prominent orchestras in the U.K., including the BBC Scottish Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestra of Opera North, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, and BBC Concert Orchestra as well as guest Assistant Principal with the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the English Chamber Orchestra. He also appeared regularly as a member of Kokoro, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary music ensemble.
Since moving to Chicago, Calum has appeared as Principal Cello with the Chicago Philharmonic and regularly as a substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as during the CSO’s MusicNow contemporary series. He joined the faculty of Northwestern University in 2018.
His summer festival appearances included the Bach Dynamite and Dancing Festival in Madison, WI, and The Grand Tetons Music Festival, WY, with fellow countryman Maestro Donald Runnicles.
Carol Cook made her concerto debut at the age of sixteen and has appeared as both a soloist and chamber musician in concert halls worldwide. Born in Inverness, Scotland, into a musical family, Carol has performed as soloist with the Chicago Philharmonic, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra in Boston, Edinburgh Symphony, Guildhall Symphony, Cambridge Sinfonia, and Edinburgh Players. She also performed the Brahms Double Concerto alongside her brother Calum with the Edinburgh Symphony and the Grampian Orchestra.
Carol was appointed Principal Violist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra in 2013, having been a member of the orchestra since 2003. She has also appeared as guest Principal Violist with numerous international orchestras, including the highly acclaimed Australian Chamber Orchestra with whom she has toured extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. She performs regularly with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has also appeared with New York Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Carol has appeared at summer festivals in Banff, Verbier, Montreal, La Jolla, Chamber Music Northwest, Mimir Festival and Cactus Pear Festival in San Antonio. Carol was featured on the “Rising Star” series for two years running at the Caramoor International Festival in New York, and she performed with musicians such as Donald Weilerstein, Arnold Steinhardt and Claude Frank as a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi. Carol is a former member of the Appalachia Waltz Trio with the Grammy Award-winning violinist Mark O’Connor. The trio toured extensively throughout the US. and released its debut album, Crossing Bridges, to rave reviews in November ’04.
Cook holds degrees from The Juilliard School, Oberlin Conservatory and Guildhall School and studied with David Takeno, Roland Vamos, Hsin-Yun Huang. She studied at the Verbier Academy in Switzerland for three summers with Yuri Bashmet, Paul Neubauer, and Roberto Diaz, and has also studied privately with Li-Kuo Chang.
When she is not playing her viola, Carol spends as much time as possible working on her golf game and also loves to go on adventures on her road bike.
John Macfarlaneis currently Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Concertmaster of Bach Week, and violinist for Rembrandt Chamber Musicians.
Macfarlane has performed and toured with some of America’s most prestigious orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
He has extensive concertmaster experience including leading the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Breckenridge Music Festival, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and the National Repertory Orchestra as well as appearing as guest concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony.
Increasingly sought after as a conductor, Macfarlane recently returned from the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center conducting seminar. His conducting has been featured on multiple live radio broadcasts on Chicago’s WFMT for the Rush Hour Concerts Series. He has conducted multiple concerts with the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Colorado and has served as Assistant Conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge and the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre in Iowa.
He holds a Bachelor of Music and a certificate in Music Theatre from Northwestern University and a Master of Music from the University of Maryland.