Carol Cole’s appearances in the United States, Canada, South America, North Africa and throughout Europe have brought unanimous critical praise for her musical artistry, flawless technique and beautiful tone.
“She knows how to capture the hearts of her listeners,” writes Messaggero of Venice, Italy; “Passionate violin playing, carefully sculpted and crafted,” notes The Pocono Record in Pennsylvania. After a recent concert in Saratoga, New York, the Post Star described her playing as “brilliant, focused and impassioned – exceptional.” The Philadelphia Inquirer reviewed Ms. Cole’s performance at the Mozart-on-the-Square Chamber Music Series as “providing firm, accurate and spirited leadership – her sense of timing and sound (are) musical indeed.”
Equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestra leader, the violinist has appeared at major music centers in 20 countries and in more than 25 U.S. states, including Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, Field Hall at the Curtis Institute, The San Francisco Opera House, Auer Hall at Indiana University, the Broward and Kravis Centers for the Performing Arts and the Gusman Theater in South Florida, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, The Royal Conservatory in Toronto, Teatro de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Teatro Royale in Madrid, Santa Cecilia in Rome, the R.A.I. auditoriums in Rome and Turin and La Scala in Milan.
Carol Cole has collaborated with the most distinguished artists of our time, including Rudolf and Peter Serkin, Leon Fleisher, Bruno Gelber, Martha Argerich, Andre Watts, Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, Henryk Szeryng, Pinchas Zukerman, Vadim Repin, Ida Haendel, Viktoria Mullova, Joshua Bell, Janos Stark, Mstislav Rostropovic, Myron Bloom, Pierre Rampal, Maurice Andre, Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas and Cecilia Bartoli. She has played under the most celebrated conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, Claudio Abbado, Pablo Casals, Sergiu Commissiona, Krzysztof Penderecki, Carlo Maria Giulini, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Neville Marriner and Pierre Boulez.
The violinist has performed in the world’s most prestigious music festivals, including the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Italy; Konzertring in Rottweil, Germany; Jeunesses Musicales in Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro; Grand Teton in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Festival Miami, Philadelphia’s Mozart on the Square and the String Seminar at Carnegie Hall.
Cole has served as concertmaster of Opera Barga in Italy, as associate concertmaster of the Florida Philharmonic and Florida Grand Opera, and as concertmaster and solo violin of “I Solisti Aquilani,” with which she recorded and toured the world. She was also a member of the Vancouver Symphony, the Radio Orchestra of Torino, La Scala Orchestra of Milan, the Philadelphia opera and ballet orchestras and the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra.
As winner of the San Francisco Symphony Young Artists competition, Cole made her debut with the San Francisco Symphony at age 13. She won top prizes in the Stresa International Violin Competition, the San Francisco Music Club and the “Performers of Connecticut Chamber Music Competition” at Yale as a member of the Wielopolska Piano Quartet. She further participated in the Romano Romanini, Rodolfo Lipizer and Queen Elizabeth International violin competitions, as well as the Kennedy Center Competition for Contemporary Music.
Carol Cole has always been involved in the performance of new music, having played with the Contemporary Music Ensemble of Philadelphia and debut recitals of music by Edward Arteaga. The Repubblica of Rome wrote of her Rome debut of Scelsis’ Anahit, “a penetrating, heartfelt performance by violin soloist Carol Cole – an unforgettable performance.” She was hailed as “one of the California’s most gifted musicians” by the San Francisco Chronicle after a flawless performance of Bernstein’s Serenade for violin and string orchestra.
In her native San Francisco, Cole studied with William Pynchon, a classmate of Isaac Stern, of the Nauom Blinder-Adolf Brodsky Russian School of Violin Playing. Her education continued in Philadelphia after receiving a full scholarship to the famed Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied violin with Arnold Steinhardt and chamber music with Felix Galimir, Jamie Laredo, Jasha Brodsky of the Curtis Quartet, Alexander and Misha Schneider of the Budapest Quartet and Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet. She also played in master classes for Joseph Gingold.
Cole has recorded for the labels of Bongiovanni, Harmonia Mundi, recently on Eurartists as a member of the Sagee Trio and has performed on live broadcasts from Philadelphia, San Francisco, Miami and Radio Italiano of Turin and Rome.
Pursuing her multi-faceted musical interests, Carol Cole has backed artists such as Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Nestor Torres, Gloria Estafan, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra and Frank Sinatra, Jr. She is a member of the Miami Symphonic Strings recording orchestra, which recently released a CD featuring Barry Gibb and Barbra Streisand from the Criteria Studios in Miami. In their 35th year together, Carol Cole and her husband David Cole present duo concerts and collaborate with top musicians performing the vast chamber music literature. A devoted teacher, Carol Cole combines an active performing career with her position as professor of violin and chamber music at the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. During the summer, Carol Cole is a regular performing artist, violin professor and chamber music coach with the String Academy and Music Festival of Indiana University.
- Attended Curtis Institute of Music