Meet Our Guest Soloist for July 4th - Paul Cohen


Paul Cohen

Paul Cohen is a sought-after saxophonist 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 the 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, San Diego Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, Group for Contemporary Music, Greenwich Symphony, and New York Solisti.

He has recorded three albums with the Cleveland Symphonic Winds under the direction of Frederick Fennell and a CD of the music of Villa-Lobos with the Quintet of the Americas, as well as recordings with the Philharmonia Virtuosi, New York Solisti, Paul Winter Consort, North-South Consonance, and the New Sousa Band. His most recent recordings include Quiet City, with premiere recordings of works by Ornstein, Lunde and Hartley, as well as Breathing Lessons, a CD of new works for saxophone quartet. In 2016 his CD, American Landscapes, was released featuring three centuries of American music for saxophone including the newly discovered 19th-century concerto by American composer Caryl Florio.

Dr. Cohen holds an MM and DMA degree from the Manhattan School of Music. His teachers have included Galan Kral, Joe Allard, and Sigurd Rascher. He has published more than one hundred articles on the history and literature of the saxophone worldwide.

Dr. Cohen is on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, NYU and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

On July 4th at Levitt Pavilion, Paul is performing a saxophone solo "Helen" by the legendary Herbert L. Clarke, and offers this description:

A little history on Herbert L. Clarke's "Helen."

For 'Helen", there is no need to tell you about Herbert L. Clarke. But what IS interesting is that no one knows he wrote three works for alto saxophone and band. This is unknown and unplayed music, never published, performed or recorded. It might have been played - maybe - c. 1920 while Clarke was the conductor and director of the Huntsville Band from Ontario, Canada. The scrawled dedication is to Charles G Shaw, son of the owner and benefactor of the band (Charles O Shaw). Charles G. Shaw was a saxophonist in the band and apparently very skilled.

So we are either premiering the piece, or giving its first American performance, or at least the first performance in over 100 years!

And this is completely unknown music, adding to the rich history and tradition of Clarke and that of the early history of concert bands!

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