Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle for his “richly soaring vocal lines,” William David Cooper is the composer of three operas, and music for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles, Baroque instruments, non-Western instruments, film, dance and electronics. His music has been performed by Augustin Hadelich, Liza Stepanova, gamin, The New York Virtuoso Singers, C4, AnticoModerno, the Saint Peter’s Bach Collegium Orchestra, Splinter Reeds, the Lysander Trio, ECCE Ensemble, the Lydian String Quartet, the Calder Quartet, the Empyrean Ensemble, Ensemble Signal, the Slee Sinfonietta, the Juilliard Orchestra, and the Alma Symphony, among others.
Cooper’s operas have been featured by Fort Worth Opera, West Edge Opera, the National Opera Association, the Universal Artists Festival at New England Conservatory, Four Corners Ensemble’s Operation Opera, the UC Davis Early Music Ensemble, and the Black House Ensemble at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. In 2020, his work Two Pieces for Piri and Strings was featured on an Innova Records album by piri player gamin. In 2019, his Requiem premiered at St. Peter’s Church in NYC. His ballet for Baroque instruments Creatio Continua was also commissioned by St. Peter’s Church in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. His Yeats Songs were commissioned and premiered by the New York Virtuoso Singers. Upcoming premieres include pieces commissioned by The Brass Project, Deus ex musica, and a new work for saxophone and piano, for Philipp Stäudlin and Yoko Hagino.
He has received awards and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, the American Prize, the Aspen Music Festival, the Composer’s Conference, June in Buffalo, Ucross, I-Park, Brush Creek and VCCA. A graduate of the Juilliard School and the University of California, Davis, his teachers include Samuel Adler, Robert Beaser, Kurt Rohde, Ross Bauer and Pablo Ortiz. He has taught at Purdue University, the Interlochen Arts Camp, and the Boston Conservatory Composition Intensive, and is currently on the faculty of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts. He also serves as organist and choirmaster at St. James Episcopal Church, New London, CT.