Marianne Arden Cook—Pianist, Composer, Performer—Produces CD at 99
At 99, Marianne Arden Cook—who plays the piano at the Friendship Heights Village Center every Tuesday afternoon—is self-releasing a CD of her own music.
Releasing a CD of one's own music isn't just for kids. Nonagenarians do it, too.
Friendship Heights pianist Marianne Arden Cook, 99, has self-released a CD featuring 15 of the 130 songs she's written, along with five popular songs. The CD sells for $20, Cook told Patch.
The songs are "from a long time ago," but Cook just decided to release the CD now. "[I thought I could] sell some CDs and get some money," she added.
Cook is well-known to many of her neighbors in Friendship Heights, where she's lived for the last 25 years, Cook said.
For the last 10 to 15 years, Cook has spent Tuesday afternoons performing at the Friendship Heights Village Center. There's a happy hour at the center from 3 to 4 p.m., with refreshments and Cook at the piano, Cook told Patch.
She sang, played the piano, tap danced and had a radio show. She wrote songs in four languages: German, English, French and Danish, The Post added.
Originally from Vienna, Austria, Cook came to the United States in 1932 as part of a quartet of women on a singing tour, ABC News reported.
"It wasn't easy. I came to the states with $20 and some holes in my suit. I went to the dentist and he told me it would cost $160. He said, 'How can you pay it?' I said, "I don't have the slightest idea, but you will get paid,'" she told ABC News. The quartet did well in New York City, and the dentist got paid.
She returned to the United States in 1940, after war broke out in Europe.
Cook has compiled three CDs of her recordings: The Classical Marianne Arden (featuring solo piano works by classical composers such as Debussy, Ravel and Rachmaninoff), Marianne Arden Sings and Plays for You (with original compositions) and Marianne Arden Still Sings and Plays for You (with recordings of radio shows and homemade musical recordings).
The CD with the original compositions—Marianne Arden Sings and Plays for You—is the one that she's self-releasing, The Post reported.
Copies of the CD may be purchased from Cook when she performs at the Friendship Heights Village Center on Tuesdays from 3 to 4 p.m.
"It's nice to see her get this [media] attention because she's been doing this for years and she has such a great personality. She really is a model for aging happily. And tremendously talented to boot," Julian Mansfield, village manager for the Village of Friendship Heights, told Patch.
"She plays all of her music from memory for upwards of an hour," Mansfield added to ABC News.