Theodore (Ted) Mook, American cellist (b February 26, 1953, in Mt. Kisco, New York) has been an active proponent of new music, particularly microtonal music since 1980. After graduating from the Boston University School of Music, he became a member of Dinosaur Annex (Boston) and performed with several other ensembles in the Boston area. He maintained his interest in contemporary music after moving to New York in 1983, and has since performed with Speculum Musicae, the New York New Music Ensemble, Continuum and many other groups.
As a member of Newband he performed on the original instruments of Harry Partch in critically acclaimed concerts and theatrical productions in the US and in Europe, reconstructing the original Adapted Viola parts for cello and tenor violin. He performed on two Newband discs, and subsequently produced and performed on the world's first complete recording of Harry Partch's 17 Lyrics of Li Po for Intoning Voice and tenor violin for the Tzadik label. He still performs Partch's music frequently, using a tenor violin built by Carleen Hutchins and a curved bow built by Michael Bach.
He has been closely associated with the American composer Ezra Sims, after participating in the premiere performance and recording of Sims' Sextet, and remains an active champion of his music. Mook commissioned the composer Mathew Rosenblum's Circadian Rhythms, based on a hybrid 17 note scale, and continued his relationship with the composer with performances and a recording of Nu Kuan Tzu, Rosenblum's landmark work based on Chinese texts. Mr. Mook also appears on New World Records' recording of Daniel Rothman's Cezanne's Doubt, a radical mutli-media piece using pitches collected from the upper partials of the harmonic series.
Mr. Mook has played new music at the Library of Congress, the American Academy in Rome, the venerable Monday Evening Concerts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Wexner Center at Ohio State, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kitchen, The Knitting Factory, the Herbst Theater in San Francisco and the Ijsbreker in Amsterdam. He is a veteran performer at the Bang on a Can Festival, and has participated in MusikProtokoll im Steirischen Herbst in Graz, Austria, the International Festival Musique Actuelle in Canada, the New England Bach Festival in Marlboro, Vermont, the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Bethlehem Music Festival, the USArts Festival in Berlin, the Synthesis International Festival for Contemporary Music in Skopje, Macedonia, and the Bern Biennale.
He has recorded over 3 dozen works, including Lois V.Vierk's Simoom for eight multi-tracked cellos (all named Ted), discs of standard repertoire with the New York-based Philharmonia Virtuosi, and the cast albums for several Broadway shows. His label credits include ECM, Arabesque, Opus One, CRI, Columbia Masterworks, Warner-Atlantic, New World, Mode, Ess.A.Y., Avant, Cambridge, New World, Music and Arts, Experimental Intermedia, Ear Rational, and Northeastern Records.
He has premiered works by some of today's most prestigious composers, among them Chen Yi, John Zorn, Daniel Rothman, Lee Hyla, Ezra Sims, David Lang, and Ralph Shapey, and gave the World Premiere of one of Roger Session's last works, the Duo for Violin and Cello.
Since the mid-1990s, Mr. Mook has developed a parallel career in computers, where he has worked in IT & programming for corporate clients, developed fonts for microtonal compositions, developed websites and worked as a music copyist and arranger.
His 2010-11 season includes performances in Oldenburg, Bremen, Brussels, Porto (Portugal), Baltimore, Washington, DC, New York and a tour of New Zealand and Australia, featuring music of Ezra Sims, David Behrman, John Cage, Kaija Saariaho and Annea Lockwood.