Harpsichordist, pianist, musicologist and conductor KENNETH COOPER is one of the world’s leading specialists in the music of the 18 century and one of America’s most exciting and versatile performers. Renowned for his improvisations and his expertise in ornamentation, long-lost 18th century arts, he has revived countless works, lending them extraordinary authenticity as well as great vitality. The possessor of a PhD in musicology from Columbia University, Kenneth Cooper is on the faculty there as well as at the Manhattan School of Music, where he is Chair of the Harpsichord Department and Director of the Baroque Aria Ensemble.
As Music Director of the Berkshire Bach Ensemble since its inception, Kenneth Cooper has made a tradition of the New Years performances of the Bach Six Brandenburg Concerti and has instituted a series of Concertofests in the style of Bach’s Collegium Concerts. He is heard regularly at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo and with the Sherman Chamber Ensemble, The Yale-Norfolk Summer Chamber Music Festival and the Little Orchestra Society’s Vivaldi Festivals at Alice Tully Hall. Dr Cooper has toured widely, most recently having appeared at the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival, at Chamber Music Northwest and in the “Baroque Collection” concerts with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society.
Over the past four decades, Kenneth Cooper has made dozens of recordings, among them Bach’s Gamba-Harpsichord Sonatas (CBS, with Yo Yo Ma), the complete Bach Sonatas for Flute and Fortepiano (Bridge Records, with Susan Rotholz) and the Bach Brandenburg Concerti and Goldberg Variations (Berkshire Bach Society); his spectacular versions of ragtime and other American delights may be heard on Silks and Rags (EMI) and Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot (Musical Heritage Society). He is heard also on Mother Goose and More (UNIFEM/Classic Raps) and on the documentary Van Gogh Revisited. His most recent releases include the Bach’s Six Sonatas for Violin and Fortepiano with Ani Kavafian (Helicon-Kleos), the Artist Series from Music@Menlo, and the CMS December 2006 Baroque Concert on itunes DG Concerts. In 2004 and 2005, International Music Company issued Kenneth Cooper’s award-winning editions of Bach’s Two and Three Part Inventions, and in 2006, his transcription for piano of the Adagio and Scherzo from Schubert’s String Quintet in C.