Jacob Cooper

2020 PEW FELLOW
Updated
5 Feb 2021

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Jacob Cooper, 2020 Fellow. Photo by Timo Andres.

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Pew Fellow Jacob Cooper, still from the theater work Threnos, 2020. Photo by Dorian Šilec Petek.

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Jacob Cooper, 2020 Fellow. Photo by David Johanson.

“I am drawn to the novel and the under-explored, and I have found that timbre drives my compositions more than any other parameter.”   

Composer Jacob Cooper creates expansive sonic palettes that evoke a sense of timelessness through the use of electronic, studio-recorded processes and experimental instrument and vocal techniques. His compositions blend classical and popular music influences, often in dialogue with traditional religious repertoire. Cooper’s work spans a variety of forms, including the chamber work Terrain, which blends vocal melodies with processed cello; a 16-voice choir-theater piece, Threnos (for the Throat); and the opera Timberbrit, which imagines a fictional reunion between Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Cooper’s works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and other notable venues, and he has released albums with Nonesuch Records and New Amsterdam Records. He has earned awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, Chamber Music America, and New Music USA. Cooper is an associate professor at West Chester University. He holds a DMA in composition from the Yale School of Music and a BA in music and geology from Amherst College.