Brazilian-born pianist Arnaldo Cohen has a reputation for astonishing his audiences with the musical authority and blistering virtuosity of his performances. His graceful and unaffected platform manner belies playing of white-hot intensity, intellectual probity, and glittering bravura technique bordering on sheer wizardry. He has performed with the Royal Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome under such leading conductors as Kurt Masur, Yehudi Menuhin and Wolfgang Sawallish.
Long in demand internationally, Mr. Cohen has in the last decade entered a rarefied echelon among performers in America as well. His performances in recent seasons have spanned the United States and Canada geographically, including appearances with major orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Recital appearances regularly include important venues in Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto, among other music centers.
Arnaldo Cohen came to prominence after winning First Prize at the 1972 Busoni International Piano Competition and making his debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. For five years, he was a member of the acclaimed Amadeus Trio and has performed with many string quartets, including the Lindsay and Chillingirian Quartets. He began his musical studies at the age of five, graduating from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro with an honors degree in both piano and violin, while also studying for an engineering degree. He went on to become a professional violinist in the Rio de Janeiro Opera House Orchestra to earn his livelihood while continuing piano studies with Jacques Klein, a disciple of the legendary American pianist William Kapell. Cohen pursued further training in Vienna with Bruno Seidlhofer and Dieter Weber.
He is a frequent recording artist, with recent discs including a rendering of the two Liszt Piano Concerti and the “Totentanz” with the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra for BIS Records. His other two critically acclaimed CDs on the same label are an all-Liszt solo disc, and his pioneering CD, “Three Centuries of Brazilian Music.” In 2009, he recorded Rachmaninoff’s 4th Concerto with the Sao Paulo State Symphony with Yan Pascal Tortelier conducting as a part of the complete cycle of the Rachmaninoff Concerti.
Cohen is the recipient of an honorary fellowship awarded by the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and until recently held a professorship at the Royal Academy of Music in London. After living in London for many years, he relocated in 2004 to the United States, where he holds a full professorship at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
In October of 2013 Arnaldo Cohen was appointed Artistic Director of the Portland International Piano Series, recognized as one of the most important keyboard series in North America.
"He's a big pianist, a large man with a roaring, muscular tone,
digital precision and individual interpretations. He is debonair at
the keyboard, and he is wise."
San Francisco Chronicle
"Aficionadas of superior pianism knew where to be Tuesday
evening-in Herbst Theatre, where Brazilian-born, London artist Arnaldo
Cohen made an often-stunning return to the city that barely took note of
his debut in 1995. In the interim, an underground swell of admiration(if
not quite a cult) has developed around this dapper musician, and this San
Francisco Performances recital--a banquet of Schoenberg, Bach, Prokofiev
and Chopin--made a first-timer understand why. This is a fabulous
New York Times
"He is a big pianist. His sound is splendid and full, and never
clattery, even in scuh barnstroming passages as the coda to this Liszt
work(Fantaisie Dramatique sur les Huguenots de Meyerbeer)."
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