Margaret is Principal Contrabassoon and Bassoon with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Margaret joined the CBSO immediately after finishing her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. She is also a member of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and has played with many of the leading orchestras in the UK. 

She has also played in the inaugural Chineke! concert in September 2015

As a soloist, Margaret performed two works for solo contrabassoon, written for her by Colin Matthews and broadcast on Radio 3 in 2004.

She was soloist in the world premiere of 'Falling Down'  by John Woolrich, with the CBSO conducted by Andris Nelsons in July 2009 as part of the International Double Reed Convention. Her most recent performance was at the BBC Proms in July 2015.

The opening is brilliant as the music swoops down from shrill high woodwind to the depths of the orchestra and zooms in on the soloist. Cookhorn looked assured and unflappable.....
— Birmingham Post
John Woolrich’s Falling Down was composed for the CBSO’s contra-bassoonist Margaret Cookhorn; it’s an unlikely concertante piece, predictably dark-hued and slightly gruff, but, as Cookhorn showed, totally convincing on its own terms.
— The Guardian


Margaret has also given lecture/ recitals on the contrabassoon for the British Double Reed Society and as part of the CBSO 'Centre Stage' series