Robert Cohen

Concert Cellist

For 35 years one of the worlds leading cello soloist and now member of the Fine Arts Quartet, Robert Cohen is an award-winning recording artist, conductor, artistic director and pedagogue who has been broadcast on TV and radio throughout the world. His passionate views on the art of learning, performing and communicating music have been widely published.

courtesy of Robert Cohen

Lake Effect talks with cellist Robert Cohen every month about the life of a working classical musician in our regular segment, called On That Note

All of us in the work world face the inevitable push-pull of our home and work lives. But when that tension is present during a rehearsal or a performance, Cohen says there are some unique challenges, like using it as a way to go deeper into the music.

Lorenzo Lotto / Archivio fotografico Gallerie dell’Accademia

Each month, cellist Robert Cohen joins us for a segment for an inside look into the life of a professional classical musician.

This month, Cohen had the opportunity to perform in a very special room at the Brera Gallery in Milan, Italy, for the opening of a Lorenzo Lotto exhibition. He was part of a series that linked the mentality of the painters and sculptures to the mentality of the composers of the pieces chosen to accompany the art work.

Wolfgang Gauch

Cellist Robert Cohen joins Lake Effect every month to talk about the life of a working professional musician in a segment called On That Note. Cohen, who is a member of the Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet, plays at venues around the world, and often speaks with Lake Effect's Bonnie North about his travels. 

CPS

Every month, Lake Effect talks with cellist Robert Cohen about life as a professional musician in the On That Note series.

When we spoke last month, Cohen was on his way to Finland to participate in a brand new festival on music and wellness. Since then, his own wellness has been tested by the constant traveling that often comes with a musician's work. 

The beginning of a new year has most of us thinking about ways to improve our lives. Whether it’s losing weight, learning something new, getting in shape, or decluttering our homes, January seems to be the time we strive to make things better.

Classical musicians aren’t immune to that impulse. Cellist Robert Cohen chats with us each month in a series we call On That Note, and he’s been thinking about well-being:

Robert Cohen is the cellist for the Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet and his On That Note segments are a regular Lake Effect feature.

Wolfgang Gauch

December is the time of year when holiday concerts abound. From big community sings of Handel’s Messiah to Holiday Pops concerts to chamber music and school concerts, the season is awash in sound. 

Cellist and On That Note contributor Robert Cohen’s experience of this month is no exception.  He’s just back from a series of chamber concerts across Europe and told Lake Effect’s Bonnie North that the venues - houses of worship in particular - are what makes these concerts unique.

Felix Schmidt

Any artist will tell you that they couldn’t have gotten where they did without the influence of mentors. For cellist and Lake Effect contributor Robert Cohen, that person was the late British cellist William Pleeth.

In this month's On That Note segment, Cohen shares more about his mentor, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year.

CPS

Every month, Lake Effect talks with contributor Robert Cohen, the cellist for the Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet, about the life of a working and touring professional musician.

It can be a uniquely challenging occupation. There are a lot of variables that can either help or hurt a musician's performance. And unfortunately when things go wrong, they seem to leave a bigger impression. 

Hugues Argence

Every month, Lake Effect brings you On That Note, a series of conversations with Robert Cohen, the cellist for the Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet. Cohen joins us to talk about the life of a working musician and many of the facets of classical music. 

Fine Arts Quartet

Every month, Bonnie North chats with cellist Robert Cohen for On That Note. Often the conversations take place on Skype because Robert is in some far-flung place where he is performing, either on his own or as part of a group. This month, Cohen came by the Lake Effect studio to talk face to face, along with violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez, the Fine Arts Quartet's violist.

Hugues Argence

Often, our On That Note segment recordings take place with Bonnie North in the Lake Effect studio, and cellist Robert Cohen in some far-flung place where he is performing, either on his own or as part of the Fine Arts Quartet.

However for this edition, Cohen came by the studio with his cello to not only perform some Bach pieces, but talk about their unique qualities.

Photo courtesy of Robert Cohen

Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet cellist Robert Cohen has performed in many kinds of venues – from the small and intimate to grand concert stage. But his most recent musical adventure found him in need of a sextant and some nautical maps, along with some seasick pills…

Cohen spent nine days working on a musical cruise, which is quite common for classical musicians. But what was uncommon was the rough weather conditions under which they had to perform.

CPS

Music and love have long been interconnected. And even if a piece or a song is not directly about love, the person performing it has to approach it with an open heart - along with technique and skill.

It’s a familiar refrain for our On That Note contributor, cellist Robert Cohen. 

"From a musician's point of view, we're in that incredible, fortunate position of dealing with this every day of our lives," he says. "But we're equally able to forget how much that love is 90% of what we're doing."

Hugues Argence

Every month, Lake Effect brings you On That Note, a series of conversations with cellist Robert Cohen. The Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet brings Cohen state-side quite often, but he also maintains an apartment in London to accommodate his active solo career.

Recently, he's been working with students in England, introducing them to music as a profession and giving them live performances with his cello. After a recent school visit, Cohen says he was unsure about how the students had received his presentation. 

Christine Lalla

For a contemporary composer, seeing and hearing your work live is a rewarding experience that offers a unique privilege to work with the musicians performing a piece.

Our “On That Note” contributor, Robert Cohen, was just on the other side of that equation.  Cohen is a cellist and recently had the opportunity to play work by a living composer – work that was composed for Cohen himself. 

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