F.A. Cohen
Photo: Photo Pécsi

F.A. Cohen

Composer

F.A. Cohen (1904-1967) was a German composer, conductor and director. He grew up in Bonn and studied at the conservatoires of Leipzig and Cologne, and at the University of Bonn. He worked at the municipal theatres of Münster, Würzburg and Essen from 1924 to 1933 as an opera director, composer and conductor. In 1926, he composed his first ballet: Tragödie, for choreographer Kurt Jooss. He created a total of ten ballets in close collaboration with Jooss. He was also musical director and pianist with Ballets Jooss from 1932 to 1942 and went on tour with the company. Besides his compositions for the ballets of Jooss, Cohen also created several arrangements for ballet, of music by composers like Mozart, Purcell, Lanner and Strauss.

After Ballets Jooss was disbanded in 1942, Cohen resumed his career as an opera director. In total, he directed more than 33 productions, including many American premieres – first as an independent director and then in employment with the Juilliard Opera Theatre, in New York, where he founded the Juilliard Opera Studio, in 1946. Cohen died in New York, in 1967.