Counterstream Radio
Inspect the unexpected
Media on Demand
Browse Music and Interviews


Jacob Cooper

Brooklyn, NY   

Jacob Cooper’s bold compositions and multimedia works have garnered recognition throughout North America and Europe, appearing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s and Wild Up’s Brooklyn Festival, the MATA Festival (New York), the Wordless Music concert series at the Miller Theater (New York), Bargemusic (Brooklyn), Present Music’s “Around 30” celebration (Milwaukee), the Choregie Festival (Maribor, Slovenia), and the Dogs of Desire’s American Music Festival (Albany, NY). Recent performers of Jacob’s music include the JACK Quartet, the Calder Quartet, Ensemble ACJW, the NOW Ensemble, the Minnesota Orchestra, cellist Ashley Bathgate, and pianist Vicky Chow. His song cycle Silver Threads, written for soprano Mellissa Hughes and electronic track, will be released by in early 2014. Other upcoming projects include commissions for eighth blackbird and the Albany Symphony.

Lauded as “richly talented” (The New York Times) and “a maverick electronic song composer” (New Yorker), Jacob has earned a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Morton Gould award from ASCAP, a Music Alive grant from New Music USA, and was the winner of the 2011 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 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, whose members are “rapidly gaining notice for their daring innovations, stylistic range and acute attention to instrumental nuance” (WQXR).

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 works 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 2010 YouTube / Guggenheim Biennial of Creative Video.

Also dedicated to teaching and scholarship, Jacob has served on the faculty at Amherst College as the Joseph E. and Grace W. Valentine Lecturer of Music. He authors program notes for subscription series concerts at Carnegie Hall and is completing his doctorate in composition at 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.