Robert Cooper

Robert Cooper CM


Robert Cooper receives Distinguished Service Award 2016 by Choral Canada!

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One of Canada’s foremost choral musicians, Robert Cooper is also Artistic Director of Chorus Niagara, the Opera in Concert Chorus and the newly created Ontario Male Chorus.  He taught for several years as a member of the Choral Department, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and has had the honour of conducting the National Youth Choir of Canada, the Ontario Youth Choir (1979, 2007, 2016) and a Celebration of Canadian Choral Music at Carnegie Hall. As a superb choral trainer and conductor, Mr. Cooper has provided strong artistic mentoring to singing youth in the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir as well as the Orpheus Choir Sidgwick Scholars and Vocal Apprentice Programs, influencing over 2000 young adult singers.

In addition to his work with choirs, Mr. Cooper has been involved with the presentation of more than 150 operas and has conducted symphony orchestras in Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Orchestra London, opera companies in Victoria, Ottawa and Winnipeg as well as Toronto Operetta Theatre and Opera in Concert.  Mr. Cooper has also guest conducted several Canadian choirs, as well as guest engagements at Festival 500, Kathaumixw, Festival of the Sound, Unisong Choral Festival, Stratford, Guelph and Algoma Festivals, and Thirteen Strings.  Acknowledged as an innovative programmer, Mr. Cooper has commissioned and premiered many new works by both Canadian and international composers.

Over his career Mr Cooper has prepared choruses for many international conductors including Helmuth Rilling, Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Sir Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit, and the late Robert Shaw and Elmer Iseler.

Mr Cooper has served on the Jury of the international choral competition Let The Peoples Sing, as well as adjudicating the 2010 World Choral Games in Shaoxing China, the Cincinnati 2012 World Choral Games and the 2016 iteration in Sochi, Russia.

After 31 successful years bringing fine vocal and choral music to all of Canada as Executive Producer of Opera and Choral Music for CBC Radio Two, Mr Cooper now pursues a full-time conducting schedule.  He has served as President of both the Choirs Ontario and the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, was on the Board of Chorus America, the Advisory Board of the International Federation of Choral Music and is Canada’s representative on the World Choir Council.  Recipient of the St. Catharines’ Trillium Arts Award, Robert Cooper has also received an Honorary Doctorate from Brock University, the Order of Canada as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution to the Canadian choral community.

In May 2016, Robert was awarded Choral Canada’s Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious, national award is given in recognition of significant, transformative, and long-term service in building, nurturing and promoting choral music in Canada.

Read “We Are ALL Music’s Children” published in October, 2016 on The WholeNote web site, an interview with mj Buell.


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