by Eric Haines Hebrew liturgy provides blessings for every major event in the Jewish life cycle. Blessings for children, weddings, the Kaddish, the Kol Nidre and the Song of Solomon have inspired composers to write works that deserve a place on the concert stage. The Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival ended its three-concert season on Tuesday […]

Neither Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, nor even the modern-day composer John Adams thought to do it, yet the age-old story was ripe for the plucking, juicy with drama and conflict, tragedy and a complicated love triangle, the thematic lifeblood of opera.  But Gerald Cohen, cantor of Shaarei Tikvah, the Scarsdale Conservative Congregation, did.  He is composing an opera based on the story of Sarah and Abraham and Hagar in the Bible’s Book of Genesis, and in doing so, he joins the ranks of American composers contributing to the new opera boom in the United States.  The first act of the composer’s opera-in-progress, “Sarah and Hagar.” will be presented in concert form at Shaarei Tikvah on Tuesday, May 24, at 8 p.m.

by Sheila Steinman Wallace In one of the most cohesive and moving concerts I have heard from this community chorus, Voces Novae presented “Choral Portraits: Gerald Cohen, Eleanor Daley and Eric Whitacre” on Sunday, March 7. … Gerald Cohen’s “Adonai Ro’i” (Psalm 23) has long been a personal favorite. The chorus and soloist Sarah Nettleton […]

Gerald Cohen on Music, Religion, and the Bridge Between by Molly Sheridan Westchester Prize-winning composer Gerald Cohen is a cantor at Temple Shaarei Tikvah in Scarsdale, New York, and when I spoke with him, I have to admit that I was most curious about what that means with regard to his music. What it is […]

A fascinating take on the mid-20th century composing tradition embraces Cohen’s Jewish heritage to telling effect.
Gerald Cohen’s publisher, Oxford University Press, claims that his Trio for viola, cello and piano was written ‘to fill a particular gap in the chamber music repertoire,’ but the committed performance here by the players to whom the work is dedicated reveals a much more personal involvement.  As the title of this recording implies, Cohen composes with a strong sense of tradition — one that embraces Brahms, Bartok and Britten on one hand and his own Jewish heritage on the other.

Gerald Cohen: “Generations” (CRI) Review by George Robinson Cohen is a young composer, only 41, with a sure ear for strong melodies. The instrumental pieces on this set, a trio for viola, cello and piano, and a string quartet, are sharply etched if somewhat derivative, echoing Diamond, Copland, maybe Bernstein. The setting of four Jewish texts has a nicely […]