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©2009 by Lynn Bechtold, All Rights Reserved.
Dan Cooper's music has been noted in The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Associated Press, Fanfare Magazine, American Record Guide, Berkshire Eagle, Greenwich Times, Metroland Albany, Albany Times Union, CurtainUp, and New Music Connoisseur, among others - "contemporary impressionism," "inventive," "drawing on vernacular styles," "vibrant," "capricious," "especially fascinating," “full of instrumental virtuosity and sly humor,” "utterly charming amidst a throbbing swirl of cacophony, all of it making unexpected sense," "virtuosic," "whimsical," "carefree," "acute," "daring," "well-plotted," "hauntingly beautiful," and with a "spirit of originality, verve, and humor, now being passed on to a new generation."
Cooper was born and raised in Manhattan, and educated at The Horace Mann School, Columbia University, The New England Conservatory, and Princeton University. Principal teachers include John Heiss, Steve Mackey, and Paul Lansky. For several years, Cooper worked as an assistant to American composer, flutist, and electronic music pioneer Otto Luening, who mentored him in composition, orchestration, and musical life in general; with Luening's recommendation, Cooper was awarded an ASCAP Young Composer's Prize for his electronic setting of Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky". He also completed study at the Conservatoire de Nice and Fontainebleau, where he attended masterclasses of Betsy Jolas and Philippe Manoury, and won a composition prize.
In 2000, Cooper was the Aaron Copland composition fellow at Tanglewood, where he studied with Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Gandolfi, and Chen Yi, and worked as an assistant to Louis Andriessen. At Tanglewood, Cooper has composed and produced incidental music tracks for several acclaimed Shakespeare and Company productions directed by Tina Packer and Daniela Varon. In addition, Cooper's "Hawthorne Fanfare and Meditation" was premiered at Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall, at a gala event featuring Mike Wallace, Jane Fonda, David Strathairn, and Marisa Tomei.
As a multi-instrumentalist specializing in 7-string bass guitar and also flute with electronics, Cooper has performed all over the world, as a member of singer Ute Lemper's trio, as well as the groups Vision Into Art, Sound Liberation, Free Radicals, and Erbium. Venues include Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Town Hall, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Staatsoper Berlin, Bunkamura Orchard Hall, Chicago Theater, Davies Hall, Massey Hall, Royal Festival Hall, The Blue Note, LPR, and Joe’s Pub among many others, plus broadcasts on NBC, BBC, Radio France, Bravo, & RAI. Cooper endorses Overwater bass guitars of Carlisle, U.K.
Cooper’s music has been recognized with various awards, commissions, premieres, recordings, showcases, and residencies from Albany Symphony, Albany Records, ASCAP, Artists International, B3+, Cary Trust, Circadia, Electro-Music, Empire State Youth Orchestra, Engine 27, Femmes Four, Imani Winds, ISC, Lumina String Quartet, Majestic Brass, Meet the Composer, NARAS, NYNME, New York Youth Symphony, Norwalk Youth Symphony, Palisades Virtuosi, and Sweet Plantain, among others. He is currently on the faculty of the State University of New York/FIT, where he has created new survey courses in American Music, European-Classical Music, and Latin-American and Caribbean Music. In addition, Cooper teaches music and Shakespeare classes at Greenwich House Senior Center in New York City. He is a co-director of the chamber music series and record label Composers Concordance, distributed by Naxos.