This concert and recording with the Volgograd Symphony and Mr. Serov provided me with a unique experience. The Russian musicians gave me a deep insight into creating a meaningful interpretation of the music of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. I appreciate the emotional intensity and purpose that they generously shared in our work together. KIM COOK KIM COOK has performed as a soloist in more than 25 countries, including Germany, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, England, Ireland, France, Finland, Russia, China, Israel, Jordan, and in Latin America and throughout the United States. She has presented concerts and master classes as International Artistic Ambassador for the US State Department. Television and radio broadcasts of Ms. Cooks performances have been heard in Brazil, China, and the United States. She has also recorded concertos by Dvorak and Haydn and solo sonatas of Kodaly, Crumb and Hindemith. A native of Nebraska, Ms. Cook received degrees from the University of Illinois and Yale University. She studied with Carol Work, Gabriel Magyar, Aldo Parisot, Alan Harris, and Janos Starker. She was principal cellist of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Eleazar de Carvalho, and taught at New Mexico State before assuming her current position as Professor of Cello at Penn State University. EDWARD SEROV is one of the leading Russian orchestral conductors of the day. After his studies, he was named assistant to Evgeny Mravinsky with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. Winner of the first Karajan conducting competition, Mr. Serov founded two major symphony orchestras in Russia, and has served as chief conductor of the St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra, the Volgograd Symphony, the Saratov Philharmonic and the Odense Symphony in Denmark. Mr. Serov was banned from traveling abroad for 10 years by the Soviet authorities, and only recently has he been able to travel freely. Serov has made more than 80 recordings for Melodiya and other labels. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reviewed one performance as alive with poignancy, moments of suspense and thrilling peaks.