Matt Cooper Featured Soloist as GRSO Presents: Finding Our Why

Grande Ronde Symphony Association is pleased to invite everyone to the first concert of its 70th musical season. This concert will take place on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at 7:00 pm. (Please note the new start time) in McKenzie Theater on the EOU campus in La Grande.

This concert’s theme is “Finding Our Why” and pulls together music from Aaron Copland with his Fanfare for the Common Man and Camille Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre. The fall concert will also include Austria’s New Year’s tradition of Radetsky March by Johann Strauss, and the ever popular, multi-movement Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The Nutcracker Suite is based on a story of a young girl receiving a nutcracker for Christmas that looks like a soldier. While she sleeps she dreams that all her Christmas presents come to life and fight against the Mouse King and his minions. The Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra will present a collection of the dances from the ballet.

Matt Cooper photoThe second half of the concert will feature Eastern Oregon University’s music professor Dr. Matt Cooper playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21. Everyone will immediately recognize and fall in love again with this masterful, most beloved work as Matt strikes the opening notes. Piano Concerto No. 21 is well-known for its enchanting second movement and derives its nickname from the same section. The movement was featured in the tragic 1967 Swedish film, “Elvira Madigan”. The second movement has been quoted in countless other media by; Neil Diamond (Song Sung Blue), James Bond (The Spy Who Loved Me), Little Einsteins, and even SpongeBob SquarePants.

Matt Cooper has performed at many solo and chamber recitals at Eastern Oregon University and around the northwest. He has also performed in Iowa, Minnesota, and Russia. We are very pleased that this will be Dr. Cooper’s fifth appearance with Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra since he joined the EOU music faculty in 1991.

Tickets cost $12 at the door for adults or $8 for seniors. College students get in for $2 and students 8th-12th grade get in for $1. Under 8th grade are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Direct Music Source, 1010 Adams in La Grande, or at Betty’s Books, 1813 Main Street in Baker City or on the box office page. Tickets can also be purchased at the door at McKenzie Theater. Inquiries can be made via email at

View photos from GRSO rehearsal on November 1st, 2017 with Matt Cooper on the photo gallery page.

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