Jeff Cohen

Composer, Pianist, arranger and pedagogue (Baltimore)

Jeff Cohen is an American pianist and pedagogue of international fame. His dense discography includes collaborations with Jane Birkin, Roberto Alagna, Cecilia Bartoli, Angela Gheorghiu, Ivry Gitlis, Sumi Jo, Michel Portal, Steve Lacy, Kurt Weill and Felicity Lott.

Born in Baltimore, in the United States, Jeff Cohen studied at the Peabody Conservatory with Lillian Freundlich. His passion for French melody led him to Paris, where he studied piano and chamber music at the Paris Conservatory under Reine Gianoli and Geneviève Joy. After his graduation, he kept on improving his skills with Leon Fleisher in the United States and Peter Feuchtwanger in England.

His career has taken him all over Europe but especially in Paris: appointed professor at the École d'art lyrique of the Paris Opera, he became involved with Théâtre du Châtelet, while being a specialist adviser in French melody at the National Library of France, and a professor of Melody and Lied at the National Conservatory. He also conducted the orchestra of The Threepenny Opera by Giorgio Strehler and performed in “Impressions of Pelleas” by Peter Brook and in “Masterclass” by Roman Polanski. After working with Philippe Meyer for “Come back when you want” and “Hitches”, Cohen produced and launched a music programme for children in 1991, called “Jeff d’orchestre”.

He recorded many albums with soloists, singers and chamber music ensembles. His current discography includes Mozart’s lied repertoire, cabaret with Ute Lemper, without forgetting the works of Duparc, Fauré, Hahn, Gounod, and Loeffler… and even fado music with Luisa Cruz. As a composer, he writes for several films by directors such as Noémie Lvovsky (“Feelings”), Bernard Stora (“Mutual consent”), Philippe Lioret (“Lost in Transit”), and Cédric Klapisch (“Little Nothings”).

A few key dates in the life of Jeff Cohen:

1991 : Launched “Jeff d’Orchestre”.

1992 : Composed the music for Little Nothings by Cédric Klapisch.

2006 : Appointed Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

2013 : appointed Commandeur de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Biography from Radio France’s document database (November 2015)