The earliest musical influence of Evon Cooper was her mother, Joyce, who would sing to her 10 children almost every day and play recordings of Marion Anderson singing sacred music every Saturday morning.
The Kittery, Maine, native began piano studies at the age of 11 with Ruth Price Silva. She went on to study with Rachel Goodwin, the artistic director of Ashmont Hill Chamber Music; Stephanie Brown of New York; and Edwin Hymovitz of the New England Conservatory. While living in Santa Monica, Calif., she began teaching in the studio of Phyllis Metlen.
In 1989, she met Dusi Mura, professor emeritus of the Romanian Music Academy, who profoundly changed and reshaped her musical life. “If it were not for Dusi, music would not be as much a part of my life as it is today. If I dedicated this competition to anyone it would be Dusi. I continue to search for and study with the elders of the musical world, whose lives and experience can only broaden our own.”
Today Cooper lives in Lincoln, Mass., with her husband, Tom, and their two college-age children, Thomas and Sarah.