Derek Cooper’s music has been performed worldwide by groups including Contemporaneous, Sonic Apricity, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania wind ensemble, Jenny Lin, Yarn/Wire, Ekmeles, the Iridium Saxophone Quartet, and Blueshift Ensemble. His piece, Kill James, was recently awarded for the New York Composers Circle’s 2019 John Eaton Memorial Composition Competition. In 2016, Derek joined the ICEBERG collective, a select and diverse group of emerging New York composers.
Derek currently teaches music theory at Ramapo College of New Jersey’s School of Contemporary Arts as well as teaching composition and musicianship courses at the Hoff-Barthelson Music School where he also directs the Compose Yourself Festival in collaboration with The Copland House. He also teaches theory and ear training at Manhattan School of Music and during the summer, he oversees the composition department for MSM Summer.
In 2019, Derek took part in an annual two-week residency with Crosstown Arts in Memphis, TN, Jenny Lin premiered his Piano Etude No. 1, Unleashed at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City in addition to premieres of Obsidian Rainbow by the Red Lion High School string orchestra, Crystal Caverns for saxophone quartet at the Red Note New Music Festival and Whispers for vocal sextet, premiered by Ekmeles vocal ensemble at The DiMenna Center. His erhu quartet, Niulang and Zhinu was recently premiered at the Shenzhen Belt and Road International Music Festival in Shenzhen, China and in June of 2019, Derek took part in the Alba Music Festival in Italy, including a premiere of Heavens, Awaken by Sonic Apricity. In August, Derek saw the premiere of Insomnia Rain for guitar duo and electronics, premiered by the Cowan-Cicchillitti Duo at the 21st Century Guitar conference in Ottawa. In October of 2019, Jenny Lin and Sono Luminus studios released a full album of etudes, including his Piano Etude No. 1, Unleashed, which was simultaneously published through NewMusicShelf.
2020 gave way to virtual performances and Derek’s Miniatures Project, Vol. 1: Puzzles. The project has been hailed as being a unique and skillful way to redefine composition during the pandemic. The project has garnered attention from around the world, becoming a focal point of discussion at events in Istanbul, Austria, New York City, and Memphis. Upcoming works include collaborations with percussionist Lisa Pegher, Bent Knee, Shouthouse, and Decoda Ensemble.
His music is published through his own website as well as Knightwind Music, JustATheory Press, and NewMusicShelf. For more information and to hear samples of Derek’s work, visit: www.DerekCooperComposer.com.