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One of the hardest working mom entrepreneurs I have ever met

Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Kristina Reiko Cooper is an amazing mom entrepreneur. In addition to being an awesome client, she is the epitome of a mom who is always on the go and truly balancing it all, including a hot musical career, international travel and a newborn.

I had the opportunity to meet her at her CD launch party last November in NYC. That is me pictured with her to the right.

Following is an article my publicist, Adrienne (who is also a mom entrepreneur), wrote about Kristina's everyday juggling act. Thanks Kristina for being an inspiration to all of us!

Internationally-Acclaimed Cellist Experiences Unexpected Adventures on World Tour

In the past few months, critically-acclaimed cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper had her first baby, launched a new album, embarked on a non-stop international concert tour and experienced quite a few unexpected adventures along the way.

Cooper has quickly learned the importance of humor while adjusting to new motherhood in the midst of a whirlwind performing schedule.

“Life on the road is pretty much a circus. I’m in the midst of an international tour, traveling with my baby, my cello, a nanny, a bassinet, a breast pump, toys, a baby gym, stroller, laptop, formal concert gowns, frozen breast milk, a water sterilizer, diapers, wipes and three fully-packed suitcases,” Cooper explained, laughing.

“Language barriers have caused issues for us, too. While we were in Colombia recently, an airport official could not understand that Cello Cooper was not the baby, since the cello had a seat on the plane and the baby didn’t, because I was planning to hold him the entire way. We were delayed for an hour trying to explain the situation and almost missed our flight,” Cooper added.

Recent highlights from her busy life include:

  • Cooper was giving birth during the collapse and bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers – where her husband worked as CEO of their Israeli office. While Kristina was in labor with – and delivering – their first baby, her husband was fielding calls from frantic investors and the media. The day their baby was born was also the first day of the U.S. stock market crash.

  • The pre-concert backstage ritual is nerve-wracking and fraught with superstition. Many musicians insist on eating a particular food or taking a nap before a show. Cooper spends all of her time and energy thinking about pumping milk, wondering when and where she can pump in the midst of the pre-show chaos, stressing about whether she’ll have enough time to pump again at intermission, thinking about how to keep the milk cold in unfamiliar venues and always worrying about whether her breasts will leak through her formal concert gown during the performance.

  • During one recent trip, both four-month-old Zack and the cello were randomly selected for a security check. Security officials required that Cooper play the cello to prove it was really an instrument. Then, concerned about allowing liquids on the plane, they asked Cooper to drink her own breast milk – or wake up her sleeping baby to have him drink from each of the three bottles they were carrying on board – to ensure it was milk and not a dangerous substance.

  • In the midst of childbirth and the beginning of the worldwide financial crisis, Cooper was preparing to launch her new album, Stone and Steel, followed by an extensive concert schedule and publicity campaign.

Cooper is traveling extensively, performing at the world’s most prestigious venues. Within a two month period in early 2009, she will perform in the following locations, bringing Zack, the cello and the nanny along: New York, Israel, London, Colombia, South America, Japan, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Canada

Kristina Reiko Cooper’s latest CD, Stone and Steel, is a scintillating combination of the ancient and the modern. Cooper, a resident of New York City and Tel Aviv, is well-known for her adventurousness and her passion for new, popular and contemporary works. In her newest release, she takes some old classics and musically expresses them in a completely fresh and novel way.

Cooper has found great success in numerous forms of media, from her best-selling DVDs and CDs, to television performances and commercials, magazine covers, print fashion ads and even her own magazine columns.

She has been the featured soloist with such highly regarded orchestras as the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony and the Tokyo Yomiuri Orchestra. Cooper is a frequent featured performer at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Jerusalem’s Henry Crown Hall, Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall and Kioi Hall of Tokyo.

As a chamber musician, Cooper received the Walter M. Naumburg Chamber Music Award first prize. She has been a member of many renowned ensembles, including the internationally acclaimed Quartetto Gelato, Musicians from Marlboro, and The Whitman String Quartet, and continues to perform as part of the contemporary music group Continuum, and the popular and eclectic ensemble Intersection, also known as Kristina & Laura. She is also the musical co-director of The Israel Chamber Music Society.

She has been featured on National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, NHK in Japan, KBS in Korea, WNYC and WQXR in New York City, as well as in television broadcasts for CNN, PBS, CBC Television, CBS’s 60 Minutes, national Chinese Television, KBS Television in Korea, Fuji Television and NHK Television in Japan.

Cooper received her bachelors and masters degrees in music and her doctorate of musical arts from The Juilliard School in New York City.

When not on tour, she currently splits her time between New York and Israel, where she’s a Visiting Professor of Music at Hebrew University and Musical Co-Director of The Israel Chamber Music Society.

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