Fred Cohen's music has been commissioned by such organizations as the Richmond Symphony, the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, the Manhattan School of Music Orchestra, the Shanghai String Quartet, the 21st Century Ensemble, the Paul Hill Chorale, as well as numerous chamber ensembles and individual musicians. His works have been performed throughout the Americas, and in Northern and Eastern Europe. Recent performances include his String Quartet No. 1 during the Chamber Music America National Conference in New York; Great Scott!,a concerto for French horn and wind ensemble, commissioned by the Montclair State University Wind Ensemble and soloist Jeffrey Scott; Smiling Dennis, a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra premiered by Dennis Smylie, bass clarinet, and the Colonial Symphony Orchestra; Dances and Meditations, commissioned for Susan Palma, flute, and the Borromeo String Quartet; and Fred's Fancies, a trio for oboe, bassoon and piano trio commissioned by the University of Amherst, Massachusetts.
Mr. Cohen is an active conductor, most recently having led the Montclair State University Orchestra and Concert Band. He received his compositional training at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studied with David Cope and Gordon Mumma, and at Cornell University, where he worked with Karel Husa and Steven Stucky, receiving his DMA in 1986. His music is published by Magna-Music Baton, American Composers Edition, and Subito Music. Mr. Cohen has been a member of the music faculty at the University of Richmond (1986-2002), Montclair State University (2002-2007), and the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University (2007-present). Mr. Cohen founded the Cornell Contemporary Ensemble in 1982, and CURRENTS, a professional new-music ensemble in residence at the University of Richmond, in 1986. www.fredcohenmusic.com
Four Episodes for Clarinet and Piano (2006)
The titles for each movement originated as shorthand expressions intended to help the performers realize the underlying intentions of each episode. "Flash," for example, is a depiction in music of flickering, sparkling images. "Breath" celebrates the sheer beauty of long, melodic lines—an opportunity for the performers to display their artistry in weaving melodic contours from of simple musical materials. "Arioso" is a short, intense, lyric solo for clarinet, with the piano performing a largely accompaniment role. "Pure," the final episode, combines elements of the previous three within a mostly simple, unornamented texture, celebrating the pure beauty of the musical interaction of the two performers."Four Episodes for Clarinet and Piano" was commissioned by David Singer, Associate Principal Clarinet Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.