1926 - 1996
Cooper's work list includes compositions for orchestra, chamber ensemble, voice, choir, and solo piano. His six symphonies and string quartets and multiple solo and choral works are formally economical and encompass a wide variety of musical styles. Cooper's music ranges from the rich, nontonal harmonies of the Violin Concerto to the mystical, harmonically spare and modal elements of the Cantigas, a work for soprano, double chorus, and orchestra that draws from original 13th-century melodies.
Cooper was honored by numerous commissions and awards or grants from the Guggenheim, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and ASCAP. He wrote a textbook, Perspectives in Music Theory, as well as for publications such as the Musical Quarterly.