Paul Cohen, saxophone
Paul Cohen is one of America's most sought-after saxophonists for orchestral and chamber concerts and solo recitals. He has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Richmond Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Charleston Symphony and Philharmonia Virtuosi. His many solo orchestra performances include works by Debussy, Creston, Ibert, Glazunov, Martin, Loeffler, Husa, Dahl, Still, Villa-Lobos, Tomasi, and Cowell. He has also performed with a broad range of orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera (NYC), American Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, New Jersey Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, Group for Contemporary Music, Greenwich Symphony, Charleston Symphony, New York Solisti, Phiharmonia Virtuosi and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra.
He has recorded three albums with the Cleveland Symphonic Winds under the direction of Frederick Fennell and a compact disk of the music of Villa-Lobos with the Quintet of the Americas as well as recordings with the Saxophone Sinfonia, Philharmonia Virtuosi, New York Solisti, Paul Winter Consort, North-South Consonance, and the New Sousa Band. He collaborated with Paquito d’Rivera and the Vitral Saxophone Quartet in a 2017 CD release of a lost work by Cuban composer Caturla for saxophone ensemble. His most recent recordings include Quiet City, a chamber music CD including premiere recordings of works by Ornstein, Lunde and Harltey, as well as Breathing Lessons, a CD of new works for saxophone quartet. In 2016 his latest solo CD, American Landscapes, was releasd featuring three centuries of American music for saxophone including the newly discovered saxophone concerto of the 19th-century American composer Caryl Florio. Earlier recordings include an environmental-jazz CD of solo improvisations and his solo CD, Vintage Saxophones Revisited, featuring the premiere recording of Cowell's Hymn and Fuguing Tune #18.
A specialist on the soprano saxophone, he is the founder and leader of the New Hudson Quartet, which has performed concertos by Calvin Hampton and Nicolas Flagello. The NHQ recently released two CDs of American music, Quartet at the Crossroads, and Breathing Lessons on the Capstone and Naxos labels. Dr. Cohen is featured on a 2016 CD release of the saxophone music of Henry Cowell and Percy Grainger, as soloist and chamber player on alto and soprano saxophones.
Combining his musicological pursuits with performances, Dr. Cohen has rediscovered and performed lost saxophone literature, including solo works for saxophone and orchestra by Loeffler, Florio and Dahl (for winds), as well as rare chamber works by Grainger, Ornstein, Sousa, Cowell, Siegmeister, and Loeffler. As arranger he has written The Renaissance Book, a collection of Renaissance songs and dances for saxophone quartet (Galaxy Music); Four Piano Blues of Copland for saxophone quartet (Boosey and Hawkes); and, as editor, has prepared the ossia passages for the Concerto for Saxophone by Ross Lee Finney (Peters Music). His company, To the Fore Publishers, publishes his arrangements and settings for saxophone ensemble as well as original, historical, and contemporary saxophone works from selected composers. Dr. Cohen frequently presents lectures on the saxophone, illustrating his talks with rare instruments, manuscripts, and archival material from his extensive private collection.
The Presser Music Company recently published his arrangement for saxophone choir of Variations on America by Charles Ives and the Schumann setting of Billing's When Jesus Wept. Boosey and Hawkes just issued Cohen’s saxophone quartet arrangements of music by Aaron Copland, including Four Piano Blues, Simple Gifts, and Our Town. He also publishes a specialized technique book titled The Altissimo Primer. Cohen continues to offer his Saxophone Institute in July at the NYU Woodwind Festival and is often a guest artist with the Imani Winds Chamber Festival in New York City.
Dr. Cohen is currently on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music, Rutgers University, New York University, Columbia University, and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.