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Seth Cooper Composer





Seth Cooper has been active as Composer, Flutist, and Artistic Director for over 30 years in a wide variety of contexts. 

 

COMPOSITIONS



Chamber  Music / Chamber  Orchestra / Vocal



Red Cut Aphaia - xylophone, vibraphone, 3 marimbas, harp & strings, Montréal, 2014

3' x 9' – harp, piano, marimba, electric guitars and full orchestra, Montréal, 2012

 

Lydia, It Doesn't Really Matter ­ - cl, guitar, pn, strings  & still-photo film, Montréal, 2011

 

Bathory, Chamber Opera, text by Michael Mackenzie, 6 singers + instrumental ensemble, public workshop performance by  La Nef supported by Canada Arts Council,  Montréal, 2006

 

Cinnabar, Chinese pipa & string quartet, Montréal, 2002

     

Chi Sono io? Suzie Leblanc, soprano, song from Corcovado, Chamber Opera - sop,  Italian text by Paolo Valesio, 2001

 

Judas Maccabeus, Hanukkah suite for rabbi, cantor & small ensemble, The Village Temple, NYC, 2000

 

Desdotona, viola/cello with strings, harpschd, commissioned by Jane Moorman, premiered by Palo Alto  Baroque Chamber Orchestra,  2000

 

Ivre D'Ombre, soprano (text by  Paul Valery), fl, strg. qt., Mustique Summer Arts Festival, 1998

 

for Danielle, string quartet,  premiered by The Flux Quartet at Mustique Summer Arts Festival, 1997

 

a Orionis,  for solo viola, recorded by Toby Appel, 1995

 

B/W Negs,  for 16 strings, 1993.


Stromberg, for bass clarinet, piano & chamber orchestra,  1993.

 

Die Egge, for high voice, strings, and piano (text from Kafka’s Penal Colony), 1993. (see Awards)

 

420.3H for Piano Solo, premiered  by Jenny Tang, American Festival of Keyboard Music, The New England Conservatory of Music,  Boston, MA, 1992.

 

10 Miniature Songs for soprano and piano,  “nonsense” text by composer. Presented at the Fringe Club, Hong Kong, 1992.

 

In Memory of Miss Emily Kimbrough,  private commission (piano quartet), NYC, 1989.

 

Piu Danzar Presplen Dardoor,  wedding  (sop, trpt, fl, strgs), Church of Our Saviour, NYC, 1989.

 

Bill & Georgia’s Wedding Piece, private commission (brass quintet), Cathedral  of St. John the Divine, NYC, 1989.

 

Noon Deeché, for Dr. Albert Grokoest, Spectra Arts, Inc. commission (baritone voice and viola), Hudson, NY, 1988.

 

Piano Quintet Movement, for Sophia Y. Jacobs and Emily Kimbrough, private commission, NYC,1987.

 

Echoes of the Shining Prince, Spectra Arts, Inc. commission  (one-act opera for soprano, traditional Japanese singer, koto, marimba, flute, & strings, Merkin Hall, 1985 & 1986.

 

Two Movements for String Quartet dedicated to Dr. Albert Grokoest, Merkin Hall, NYC, 1985 &  Alexander String Quartet  performance at Ethical Culture Society, NYC, 1991.

L’Ombra Molesta, in memory of Doug Osserman, with poetry from Dante’s Inferno (Italian speaker, fl, string trio, & piano) Spectra Arts commission, private performance, NYC, 1983.

What Rough Beast?  N.Y. Quintet commission (fl, cl, sop sax, timpani, marimba, bass), Holy Trinity Church &  St. Peter’s Church, NYC, 1982.

Knockout in Eden, Spectra Arts commission, (speaker, fl, vn, sax, bsn) with poetry by Ted Hughes. Hudson, Woodstock, Spencertown Academy  performances, 1982.

Knockout, Mannes College Contemporary Ensemble performance (fl,  cl,  t.  sax,  b.  tromb) 1980.

 

 

Theater/Film/Video

 

Biblical Music, flute, guitar, percussion, for Virtual Bible, Inc. website, Toronto, Canada, 2000.

Fineman's Dictionary,  sound score for play by Sam Gesser, directed by Muriel Gold, starring Fyvush Finkel, Place des Arts,  Montreal, Quebec, 2000.

A Portrait of Leni Schwendinger,  music for video documentary of Leni Schwendinger’s public  light projects, 1994.

HKNY, synthesized score for an experimental film by Roger Garcia, presented in Zuni Icosahedron’s Invisivible Cities at City Hall, Hong Kong, 1992.

Odd Jobs,  directed by Megs Booker, theater score (synthesized tape and sound effects) 4-week run  at  the Asolo Center for the Performing Arts, Sarasota,  Fl. 1992

Festival 2000,  synthesized music,  Opening Ceremony, The Hong  Arts Festival at the Academy of the Performing Arts,  Hong Kong, 1991.

The End, synthesized film score for five-minute experimental film by Stephen Frailey, Hong Kong, 1990.

Expanding/Contracting, sound collage soundtrack for video documentary by Leni Schwendinger, 1989.

Between Wind, Lenox Arts/Music Theater Group commission, directed by Ann Bogart, (vocal quartet, Japanese traditional singer, flute, koto, marimba, & horn), Lenox, Mass., 1986.

Soji Visits Israel, soundtrack for video documentary (Klezmer band, soprano, Cantor, flute, koto, synthesizer, & shofar) K.C.C. Production, NYC 1986.

 

 

Dance/Multimedia

 

Betelgeuse, for solo viola, synthesized tape, text by Isaac Newton and projected slides.  Commissioned   by violist Rozanna Weinberger. Presented by the Collaborative Arts Project 21 in its Blackjacks IV series at the Dicapo Opera Theatre, NYC 1996 and in Brasilia, Brazil, 1994.

 

 Piano Quintet, choreographed by Flora Cheong-leen, 3 performances at City Hall, Hong Kong by Hong  Kong Ballet, 1995.

Aphaia, full length multi-media work commissioned by the Hong Kong  Arts Center for its Festival 2000. Live score (flute, string trio), synthesized electronic tape, and sound effects and dance. Hong Kong, 1991.  [Danced/choreographed by Tomoko Ukishima, former Principal, H.K. Ballet]

Dancing Ink, co-commission by The Asia Society & Spectra Arts (Chinese chanter, dancers, slides, marimba, fl, bass cl, hn, db, erhu-hu, cheng, ti-tsu), The Asia Society, 1984. [danced/choreographed by Ohad Naharin, Artistic Director, Bat Sheva Dance Company, Israel]

The Ballad of Anne & Sloan, Spectra Arts, Inc. commission (dance score: guitar, marimba, fl,cl, vn,trpt, bsn, trbn, & db)  Merkin Hall, NYC, 1982. [danced/choreographed  by Joan Lombardi Dance Company]

Bounce, commission by Catlin Cobb (dance score with electronic tape (fl, cl, sax, bassoon) Merce Cunningham Dance Studio, 1979.

 

 

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/MUSICAL DIRECTOR


Baroque Fantasies,  Artistic Director, Three 18th C. evenings of music, theater, and cuisine from France, Italy and Germany. Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Quebec, 2000.

Mustique Summer Arts Festival, Artistic Director, flutist. Annual three-concerts series of classical, original, and American popular  music on Mustique Island. Three concerts presented in Cotton House Hotel and various private homes. 1997-1999.

Odd Jobs, Sound Designer & Composer.  A 4-week run of dramatic play directed by Megs Booker, presented by the Asolo Center for the Performing Arts, Sarasota, Fl. 1992.

Aphaia,  Artistic Director, Composer & Flutist. Multi-media work conceived by Seth Cooper for dance, film, live & taped music, and sound effects. Commissioned and presented by the Hong Kong Arts Center, Festival 2000, Hong Kong, 1991.

Jacobs Private Concerts, Musical Director, Composer, Flutist. A series of 18 chamber music concerts of 19th & 20th C. chamber music. Performances in home of Mrs. Sophia Y. Jacobs and Miss Emily Kimbrough, NYC, 1982-1987.

Between Wind, Musical Director, Composer, & Flutist. Produced by Lyn Austin, Lenox Arts/Music Theater Group. Directed by Anne Bogart. Lenox, Mass. 3-week run, July, 1986.

Soji Visits Israel, Musical Director, Composer, & Flutist. 1-hour video documentary about Japanese calligrapher’s Jewish origins. Produced by the Kampo Cultural Center, NYC, 1986.

Dancing Ink, Artistic Director, Composer & Flutist, co-commissioned by The Asia Society and Spectra Arts, Inc. One-hour work including Wang Wei Poetry, dance, slides of calligraphy and music. 2 performances at The Asia Society, 1984.

Spectra Arts., Inc. Co-founder, Artistic Director. Presented 4 complete, original programs of cross-cultural music, dance, & poetry in Merkin Hall, St. Peter’s Church, NYC,  upstate New York. Funded by The Dillon Fund, The Mary Griggs Burke Foundation, Meet the Composer, The N.Y. State Council on the  Arts, and private individuals, 1981-1986.

New York Solo Ensemble, Inc., Co-Founder, co-artistic director. Chamber music ensemble offered monthly concerts at The Little Church  Around the Corner, 1 East 29th St., NYC. 1975-197

 



PERFORMANCES AS FLUTIST OR OF COMPOSITIONS

 

Merkin Hall; Carnegie Recital Hall; DTW; Roulette; PS1; The Asia Society; Theater of the Open Eye;  Ethical Culture Society; WBAI Radio; NYC Public Radio. Hudson, Woodstock, Germantown, Spencertown, Woodstock Radio, Schenectady T.V.

 

Virtual Bible Website, recording (flute) Toronto, 2000.

Fineman's Dictionary,tape (flute), Place des Arts, Montreal, QC, 2000

Mustique Summer Music Festival (1997), Mustique Island, West Indies

Flute, Porgy and Bess, Ceasaria, Israel, Israel Festival, 1994.

Flute/piccolo, Porgy and Bess, Living Arts, Inc.’s New England , 1994.

New England Conservatory, Boston, MA.

Lenox Arts/Music Theater Group, Lenox, MA.

Asolo Center for the Performing Arts, Sarasota, FL.

Italy and Japan, including Japanese T.V.

City Hall, Hong Kong; The Fringe Club, Hong Kong; Drama Theater,

Academy of the Performing Arts, Hong Kong;  Radio/TV, Hong Kong.

 

TEACHING

Private Students, 1971-1987

New School for Social Research, guest lecturer, 1986-1987.

Mannes College of Music, Preparatory School, flute teacher 1977-1981.

Ethical Culture School, flute teacher 1979-1980.

Children’s Aid Society, music director, 1979-1981.

Lighthouse School for the Blind, flute teacher, 1977-1979.

 

EDUCATION

Mannes College, B.S., 1975:

Flute, John Wummer; Piano, Edith Oppens;Counterpoint, Anthony Newman; Schenker Analysis, Felix Salzer, Ernst Oster, & Carl Schacter Jean Pierre Rampal Master Class, Nice, France, 1978 Tanglewood Music Festival, 1973, flute, Doriot Dwyer Aspen Music Festival, 1971, piano, Edith Oppens Columbia College, Columbia University, 1969-1970

Horace Mann School for Boys, HS Diploma, 1969 

Athens College, Psihixo, Greece, exchange student, 1966-1967

 

 


AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS & GRANTS


CALQ Commissioning Grant, Québec, Canada  2004: Bathory

Honorable Mention - 1993 International Chamber Music Competition [on a text by Kafka ] - sponsored by the Czech Music Fund, The Kafka Society, and the Musica Judaica

 Foundation (Prague, Czechoslovakia), 1993: Die Egge

MacDowell Colony -Composer Residency, 1990.

Jean & Louis Dreyfus/MacDowell Fellow for 1988.

MacDowell Colony -Composer Residency, 1988.

Meet the Composer Award, 1985.(sponsored by the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust)

 nventor  Hyper-Time TM Accenting Electronic Metronome with Rests, 1976.

Jellineck Medal for Excellence in Music, Horace Mann School, 1969.

 


REVIEWS

Odd Jobs (directed by Megs Booker)

“...Canadian wilderness evoked with dazzling beauty by Seth Cooper’s music and sound design.”

The Tampa Tribune, 1992

“ Seth Cooper’s musical score, an electronic concoction of catchy recurring themes, may be the play’s most memorable single component.”

The Times, Sarasota, 1992

 

Between Wind (directed by Ann Bogart)

“...evocative music by Seth Cooper... under a canopy that suggests origami, sit the four musicians, who provide  a delicate palette of tone-painting on marimba, French horn, flute and a keening human voice - an aural emblem of the loss and disconnection that is the universal lot of the  characters.”

The Boston Globe, 1986. 

 

Syrinx

“...flutist Cooper played Debussy’s Syrinx with a centered, liquid tone, sounding wood-wild, dark and intoxicating.” Sunday Freeman, Rhinebeck, N.Y., 1986.


Echoes of the Shining Prince  “...creamy texture and European harmony...”  The New York Times, 1985.

 

Dancing Ink

 

Dancing Ink  brought together several talented artists. Seth Cooper, who served as artistic director of the entire event,  composed a score for both Chinese and western instruments that was filled with delicate shimmering sounds that seemed to come not from the orchestra pit, but from far away in space and time.”

 The New York Times, 1984.

 

 

The Ballad of Anne & Sloan

“...an effectively dramatic score...crisply played.”

The New York Times, 1982.

 

 

QUOTES (FROM LETTERS)

 

“I find Seth Cooper’s music sensitive, skilled and of an extraordinary beauty...I listen to hundreds of composers’ works each year in my programming capacity with this orchestra, and Seth Cooper really stands out. (1986)

Francis Thorne. President, American Composers Orchestra


“...Seth demonstrated a unique ability to merge eastern and western musical forms...an emotionally charged and lovely score emerged...he clearly understands merging music and theatre, and is capable of making a significant  contribution to the  field. (1986) Lyn Austin , Producing Director, Music Theater Group

 

“...I was very impressed by the dance, music and overall concept and presentation in Dancing Ink. It was an original and creative response to calligraphy.” (1984)

 Dr. Andrew Pekarik                                                                                               Director, The Asia Society Galleries

 

“I have heard marvelous comments about Dancing Ink...as I told you before, Dancing Ink shows the links between calligraphy, dance, music, and poetry and suggests the living interweave of values and aesthetics behind the Chinese and  East Asian cultures...without Dancing Ink, most Americans simply see  calligraphy as incomprehensible...my  congratulations and deepest thanks for  your involvement in this  successful effort. (1984)

 

                                                                                                    Robert B. Oxnam

                                                                                         President, The Asia Society

 

 

“It is impossible to isolate any one of your accomplishments as an impressario. Certainly  yours is a rare combination of musical talent, common sense, and skill in handling other human beings.” (1983)

                                                                                                 Mrs. Sophia Y. Jacobs

                                                                                                Miss Emily Kimbrough

 

 

“I am very excited about your new metronome, Hyper-time...one like yours is long overdue.” (1980)

                                                                                                 Jim Preiss

                                                               Percussionist, Steve Reich & Musicians

 

                         

                           “Seth Cooper is an extraodinarily talented musician.” (1975)

                                                                                                  John Wummer

                                                           Former Principal Flute, N.Y. Philharmonic,                                                                                                                           

             


“Seth Cooper is endowed with a natural feeling for the most refined  intricacies of musical structure.” (1973)

Edith Oppens

Piano Faculty, Mannes College of Music 



“I find Seth Cooper’s music sensitive,
skilled and of an extraordinary beauty...
...I listen to hundreds of composers’ works each year
in my programming capacity with this orchestra, and
Seth Cooper really stands out.”

 Francis Thorne, President, 
 American Composers Orchestra
1986




Dancing Ink brought together several talented artists.
Seth Cooper, who served as artistic director of the entire event,
composed a score for both Chinese and western instruments
that was filled with delicate shimmering sounds that
seemed to come not from the orchestra pit,
but from far away in space and time.”

The New York Times
1984






“...Canadian wilderness evoked with
dazzling beauty by Seth Cooper’s music and sound design.”

Odd Jobs, The Tampa Tribune
1992




“ Seth Cooper’s musical score, an electronic concoction of catchy
recurring themes, may be the play’s most memorable single component.”

Odd Jobs, The Times, Sarasota
1992




“...evocative music by Seth Cooper... under a canopy that suggests origami,
sit the four musicians, who provide a delicate palette of tone-painting on
marimba, French horn, flute and a keening human voice - an aural
emblem of the loss and disconnection that is
the universal lot of the characters.”

Between Wind, The Boston Globe
1986



“...Seth demonstrated a unique ability to merge eastern and
western musical forms...an emotionally charged and lovely score emerged...
he clearly understands merging music and theatre, and is
capable of making a significant contribution to the field.”

Between Wind, Lyn Austin, Producing Director, Music Theater Group
1986