About

Cooper-headshot5-2019
David Johanson

Jacob Cooper’s compositions have garnered recognition throughout North America and Europe, appearing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Disney Hall, the Kennedy 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), the Choregie Festival (Slovenia), and the Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival. Performers of Jacob’s music include the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Eighth Blackbird, the JACK Quartet, the Calder Quartet, the Argus Quartet, Brooklyn RiderEnsemble Connect (formerly ACJW), the Minnesota Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, the Carmina Slovenica choir, the NOW EnsembleThe Living Earth ShowMobius Percussion, the Dither Quartet, cellist Ashley Bathgate, pianists Vicky Chow and Kathleen Supové, trombonist Matthew Wright, and vocalists Mellissa Hughes, Theo Bleckmann, and Jodie Landau.

Lauded as “richly talented” (The New York Times) and “a maverick electronic song composer” (The New Yorker), Jacob has earned awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, Chamber Music America, and New Music USA, and has won the Carlsbad Music Festival competition. He has attended the Bang on a Can Summer Institute and the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, and he has held residences at the Ucross Foundation, the Banff Centre, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Jacob is also the least well-dressed of the six composers in the collective Sleeping Giant, hailed as “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, and National Public Radio named The String Orchestra of Brooklyn’s recording of his Stabat Mater Dolorosa a Top 10 album of January 2020. Other works appear on New Amsterdam Records, Cedille 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, was 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 works in the acoustic, electroacoustic, multimedia, and visual realms. His video Alla stagion dei fior was highlighted as a “rumbling, jittering threnody” (The New York Times), while Commencer une autre mort, whichskillfully toys with the audience’s expectation and experience of opera” (Capital New York), was shortlisted for the YouTube / Guggenheim Biennial of Creative Video.

Also dedicated to teaching, Jacob is an Associate Professor of Music at West Chester University and holds a doctorate in composition from the Yale School of Music. He lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife and two children.