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Jacob Cooper

Philadelphia, PA      

Jacob Cooper’s compositions and multimedia works have garnered recognition throughout North America and Europe, appearing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Kimmel Center, SoundBox (San Francisco), the MATA Festival (New York), the Spoleto Festival (Charleston), the Wordless Music concert series at the Miller Theater (New York), Operadagen Rotterdam, Radialsystem V (Berlin), and the Choregie Festival (Slovenia). He has received commissions to write for the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group with vocalist Theo Bleckmann, Eighth Blackbird, the Calder Quartet, singer Jodie Landau, cellist Ashley Bathgate, Ensemble Connect (formerly ACJW), Mobius Percussion, and The Living Earth Show. Other performers of his music include the Minnesota Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Albany Symphony, the Carmina Slovenica choir, the JACK Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, the Dither Quartet, the Argus Quartet, the NOW Ensemble, pianists Vicky Chow and Kathleen Supové, and trombonist Matthew Wright. 

Lauded as “richly talented” (The New York Times), “a maverick electronic song composer” (The New Yorker), and a “pioneer who has pulled out of the post-minimalist orbit” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Jacob has earned awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, Chamber Music American, and New Music USA, and was the winner of the 2011 Carlsbad Music Festival competition. He has held residences at the Ucross Foundation, the Kimmel Center’s SEI Innovation Studio, the Banff Centre, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and he has attended the Bang on a Can Summer Institute and the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute. Jacob is also the least well-dressed of the six composers in the collective Sleeping Giant, whose members are “unquestionably some of the most talented and engaging young composers around” (The New Yorker). 

 Jacob’s song cycle Silver Threads, written for soprano Mellissa Hughes and electronic track, was released by Nonesuch Records to critical acclaim. Other works appear on New Amsterdam Records, New Focus Recordings, and Innova Recordings.

Timberbrit, Jacob’s “gutsy opera” (Time Out NY) about a fictional reunion between Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in The Believer’s annual music issue. The opera ran at the Incubator Arts Project in New York and was presented in London by Carmen Elektra / Opera Underground.

Jacob has worked in visual media as well, and his video Alla stagion dei fior was highlighted as a “rumbling, jittering threnody” (The New York Times), while Commencer une autre mort, which “skillfully toys with the audience’s expectations and experience of opera” (Capital NY), was shortlisted for the inaugural YouTube / Guggenheim Biennial of Creative Video. 

Also dedicated to teaching and scholarship, Jacob is an Associate Professor of Music at West Chester University and has previously served on the faculty at Amherst College. He holds a doctorate in composition from the Yale School of Music. 

Articles by Jacob Cooper:

Articles October 29 2007 | By Jacob Cooper
Day 7: Rooting for the Underdog

New music has been experiencing a surge of popularity over the past couple decades, but, at least in the orchestral world, it still plays the role of underdog. But even...

Articles October 26 2007 | By Jacob Cooper
Day 6: It All Comes Down To This

A rundown of the 2007 Minnesota Orchestra's Composer Institute.

Articles October 25 2007 | By Jacob Cooper
Days 4 and 5: Revolving Doors

More music and seminar action from the Minnesota Orchestra's Composer Institute.

Articles October 23 2007 | By Jacob Cooper
Day 3: Osmosis

Osmo Vänskä's focused questions made me think about my piece at a deeper level than I ever had. "What does 'With Bite' mean? That can be interpreted in so many...

Articles October 22 2007 | By Jacob Cooper
Live From Minnesota (Days 1 and 2): On Target

Simply walking into the hall and seeing the orchestra on stage got us keyed up, picturing them six nights later about to play our music.