Cole Anderson to Perform in Sixth Annual “Welcome Home” Concert, January 2, 2016

Cole Anderson resizedEvent Celebrates Emerging Professional Musicians Who Received Early Training in Whatcom County


Pianist Studied with Nancy Bussard through High School; Won Prizes from Bellingham Music Club


For immediate release:

Bellingham, WA, November 9, 2015–The Bellingham Festival of Music (BFM) will present pianist Cole Anderson in its sixth annual Welcome Home concert, January 2, 2016 in the First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham. The 7:00 pm recital is free to students. Suggested donation for adults is $15, which will go to BFM Music in the Schools programs. No tickets are necessary; donations can be made at the door.
Anderson will play Gershwin transcriptions, arrangements of Percy Grainger, and a new work by John Luther Adams among other pieces.


For each of the past five seasons, the BFM has invited back and presented an emerging musician of promise who is studying in a nationally recognized music program. These annual recitals are a way to recognize the accomplishments of the artists, their teachers, and the community which supported their early training. The program complements the Festival’s other Outreach initiatives, including the Play it Forward chamber music residencies, Beethoven in the Schools, masterclasses, and support of the Fifth Grade Strings program in the public schools.


A native of the Pacific Northwest, Cole Anderson began his studies at the age of six in Bellingham with Nancy Bussard. He continued to work with Mrs. Bussard, Seattle-based pianist Mark Salman, and Dr. Alexander Tutunov, Professor of Piano at Southern Oregon University until beginning his undergraduate degree at Oberlin Conservatory in 2007. As a teenager Cole was a two-time winner of the Bellingham Music Club’s Enid Carrick High School Piano Award in 2005 and 2006. He was also an active recitalist.


While at Oberlin where he was the student of Peter Takács, Cole was the Class of 2011’s recipient of the prestigious Pi Kappa Lambda award for outstanding musical performance and scholarship. He also participated in the well-known Oberlin-in-Asia orchestra tour during the winter of 2010-2011. Cole currently studies at the University of Michigan, where he earned his master’s degree in 2013 and is currently finishing his doctorate under the instruction of Dr. Arthur Greene.


During 2013-2014 Cole was on faculty at the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival, an exciting new project spearheaded by alumni from the University of Michigan. A musician dedicated to versatility of musical presentation and repertory, Cole has appeared as both a soloist and ensemble performer in concerts in North and South America, Asia, and Europe. He also performs frequently in duo performances with his wife, Chinese pianist Siyuan Li.


Cole’s artistry has been widely acclaimed. Rae de Lisle, head of the piano department at the University of Auckland, for example, hailed Cole’s performance of the massive, complex, and demanding Concord Sonata by Charles Ives in Kerikeri, New Zealand as an “extraordinary feat.” A recent all-Gershwin program featuring unusual song arrangements and a projected CD release of piano works by the Australian-American Percy Grainger are further extensions of Cole’s devotion to rarely heard gems by American composers.


For more information, check the BFM website at:



Nestled between snow-capped mountains and island-studded bay, Bellingham, Washington’s spectacular natural beauty provides the ideal backdrop for the celebration of classical music. Since 1993, the Bellingham Festival of Music has enlivened the summer season with outstanding live orchestral performances and chamber music recitals for Northwest Washington audiences.


Under the direction of co-founder and noted American conductor Michael Palmer, the festival orchestra is composed of some of the finest musicians in the United States and Canada, many of them principals in such illustrious orchestras as the New York Philharmonic and the Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta Symphonies. They are joined by eminent soloists who have included Garrick Ohlsson, Lynn Harrell, Arnaldo Cohen, Vadim Gluzman, Joshua Bell, Frederica von Stade, and Pepe Romero. In addition, the festival boasts a resident chamber ensemble, currently the Calidore String Quartet, which presents recitals as well as participating in community educational and engagement activities.


Of equal importance to its summer season are the Festival’s year-round outreach initiatives which extend the beauty of classical music to youngsters in the region. Among these programs are masterclasses, the Play it Forward chamber music residency, and Beethoven in the Schools project which bring music to K-12 classrooms. In 2014-15, BFM also helped kick start the return of the Fifth Grade Strings program in the public schools.


The Festival’s artistic excellence has been recognized widely throughout the country and its concerts and recordings have been broadcast nationally, first by NPR and most recently by American Public Media on its Performance Today show. Among these recordings are the three-CD set of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos featuring Garrick Ohlsson with Michael Palmer conducting the Festival Orchestra. These performances were recorded live at the Festival on the Natural Soundfields label in 2000.


The recipient of grants from several entities, the Festival received National Endowment for the Arts grants in 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2015—a resounding endorsement of the quality of its performances and the contribution it makes to regional and national cultural life.


Contact: Ellen Pfeifer,