Brad Cohen

Australian conductor Brad Cohen graduated from St. John's College Oxford, and studied with Celibidache and Bernstein in Germany, making his professional debut at the 1992 Almeida Festival. In 1994 he was awarded first prize in the Leeds Conductors' Competition and since that auspicious beginning he has conducted a wide ranging repertoire at English National Opera, Opera Australia, Opera North, and other opera companies including Luzern, Nantes/Angers, and the Nederlands Reisopera, and at festivals including Hong Kong, Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Adelaide, Rossini in Wildbad, and Porto.

In 2015, Brad was appointed Artistic Director of West Australian Opera, since then he has conducted Faust, Gianni Schicchi at Opera in the Park, The Riders, and The Pearl Fishers. He commenced 2016 conducting the Australian Youth Orchestra camp in Canberra, for which the orchestra received a standing ovation, and Brad’s direction was seen as a huge success. In 2017 he conducted Opera in the Park: 50th Anniversary Gala, Tosca and Lucia di Lammermoor for West Australian Opera. In 2018 for West Australian Opera Brad conducts La Bohème at Opera in the Park and Don Giovanni and for both Scottish Opera and Opera Holland Park he conducts a co-production of Ariadne auf Naxos.

In past years he has conducted Jonathan Dove’s Flight and new productions of Pelléas et Mélisande and Il trovatore at Opera Holland Park, a new production of La Cenerentola in Malmö, I Capuleti e i Montecchi for Opera Australia in Melbourne, Messiah with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs at the Sydney Opera House, Carmen for West Australian Opera, and a new production of Norma, with Hasmik Papian in the title role, for Opera Hedeland in Denmark. Brad also led the American premiere of Jonathan Dove's The Enchanted Pig in New York. In 2011 he made his debut with the New York City Opera, conducting L’elisir d’amore, and collaborated with Robert Wilson and artists including Bryn Terfel, Rufus Wainwright, Diana Damrau and Gillian Murphy on a special project at the Opéra de Monte Carlo. He also returned to Australia many times to conduct concerts with Orchestra Victoria, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, operas including Lucia di Lammermoor and The Magic Flute for West Australian Opera, as well as Otello with State Opera of South Australia and Opera Under The Stars in Broome. In addition he has conducted Gianni Schicchi and Il tabarro in Sweden, Donizetti Maria Padilla and Stiffelio for Chelsea Opera Group in London and Otello with Cape Town Opera.

Other notable engagements include La Cenerentola for Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House, his Swedish opera debut with the Konwitschny production of La bohème and the Chelsea Opera Group concert performance of Verdi's Macbeth with Nelly Miricioiu. In addition, he appeared in the major television series, Maestro, for BBC2.

Brad's debut disc for Chandos was a highlights recording of his own critical edition of Les Pêcheurs de perles, with Simon Keenlyside, Barry Banks, Rebecca Evans, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Brad's second disc for Chandos was highlights of Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri with Jennifer Larmore and the Philharmonia. He made his first disc for Universal with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo and soprano Emma Matthews. His other CDs, Maometto secondo (recorded live at the 2002 Rossini in Wildbad Festival) and Mosca's L'italiana in Algeri, were released in 2004, and in May 2007 Naxos released his Wildbad recording of Le Comte Ory.

Brad has a strong involvement in the performance of new music. His diverse activities in this field include filming modern opera for TV, touring the ensemble pieces of Frank Zappa, and commissioning music for the opening of the Millennium Dome. Recent composer collaborations include Georges Lentz and Ross Edwards. In 2002 he was Musical Director of Jonathan Dove's television
opera When She Died: Death of a Princess, commissioned from Tiger Aspect for Channel Four and first shown in August 2002. In 2006 the same team created the TV opera Man on the Moon for Channel Four. Brad also led the Australian premiere of Jonathan Dove's opera Flight at the 2006 Adelaide Festival.

Brad has also conducted From the House of the Dead and Carmen for English National Opera, Carmen, The Merry Widow, Romeo and Juliette, L’elisir d’amore and La Cenerentola for Opera Australia, The Magic Flute, The Pearl Fishers and The Reluctant King for Opera North, and Rigoletto and Figaro for English Touring Opera. For Almeida Opera he conducted the world premiere of Thomas Adès' Powder her Face (also Cheltenham Festival, Bath and Oxford) and in 1998 Guo Wenjing's Wolfcub Village and Night Banquet (also Hong Kong Festival). Other operatic work includes Les vêpres siciliennes, Poliuto, Il pirata, I Lombardi, Anna Bolena, Andrea Chénier, Beatrice di Tenda and Macbeth for Chelsea Opera Group, Macbeth for Opera New Zealand, Die Fledermaus for Opera Queensland, Così fan tutte for Opera Theatre Company Dublin, Nabucco, Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, Pearl Fishers, Norma, La Sonnambula, Fedora and Nabucco for Opera Holland Park, La Traviata for Luzern, Jonathan Dove's Tobias and the Angel for CBTO, The Turn of the Screw for Porto 2001, Armida, Tancredi, Le Comte Ory, Maometto secondo and Mosca's L'italiana in Algeri for the Rossini in Wildbad Festival, Cavalleria rusticana & I Pagliacci in the Royal Albert Hall, Luisa Miller and Manon for the Nederlands Nationale Reisopera, and Lucia di Lammermoor for Angers/Nantes Opera. 

As a publisher and editor, Brad has created a series of opera editions. His critical edition of Les Pêcheurs de perles has received international acclaim, with productions at the Royal Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera, and English National Opera, and he has also published editions of Maometto secondo, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Norma.

Brad is also the Founder and Creative Director of Tido Music,