Brooklyn-based composer, librettist, and multimedia artist Nell Shaw Cohen writes lyrically expressive, visually evocative music for chamber ensembles, orchestra, and voice. Her music has been performed in concert halls, museums, theaters, and salons.

Cohen is a 2015-17 Composers & the Voice Fellow with American Opera Projects and the recipient of an Artist Residency Grant from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. As founder and director of Landscape Music, an online publication and affiliated Composers Network, Cohen advocates for music inspired by nature, landscape, and place.

Cohen is also an educational media producer and experience designer. Her unique videos, multimedia installations, and interactive media have been viewed by thousands online. View her media design portfolio at beyondthenotes.org.

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Upcoming Performances

Composers & the Voice: Six Scenes

AOP previews the future of opera with an evening of scenes developed during AOP's latest season of Composers & the Voice, a Brooklyn-based fellowship training program that has launched the careers of some of today's top opera creators. This program includes scenes from Nell Shaw Cohen's opera Mabel's Call. More information and tickets.

September 30 | 8:00pm
South Oxford Space
138 South Oxford Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Tickets $10

October 2 | 2:30 PM
National Opera Center – Rehearsal Hall
330 7th Ave, 7th floor
New York, NY 10001
Tickets $20

View additional upcoming and recent performances.

Featured Compositions and Multimedia Projects

Visit Music for a full list of works

Mabel's Call

A one act opera, currently in development, inspired by the life of Mabel Dodge Luhan. Scored for 2 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, and bass-baritone, with chorus and chamber ensemble. Excerpts presented in piano-vocal concert workshop reading on August 12, 2016 at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, New Mexico, and on upcoming Six Scenes program presented by American Opera Projects in New York City on September 30 & October 2, 2016.

Point Reyes from Chimney Rock (2014)

Orchestral tone poem commissioned by the NYU Symphony and premiered on March 3, 2014 at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York, NY. Conducted by David Rosenmeyer.

Explore John Muir's Yosemite (2014)

This multimedia installation for web and iPad app illustrates the writings of naturalist and conservationist John Muir through interactive photography and music, offering an engaging new interpretation of Muir's vision of nature. Explore ten sites in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks with Muir as your guide. muirsyosemite.com

The Coming of Spring (2014)

A one-act monodrama for tenor and chamber ensemble inspired by the life and paintings of Charles E. Burchfield. Learn more about the April 2014 workshop performance and listen to a complete scene at thecomingofspring.com

California Zephyr (2014)

Video and music for piccolo, clarinet, 2 percussion, piano, violin, viola, cello, and bass. Filmed from the California Zephyr Amtrak train over three days, traveling from Chicago to San Francisco. Music recorded live by the NYU Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Horizon: New York (2014)

Video production and music composition for two versions of a short dance film created with dancer-choreographer Callie Lyons and cellist Fjóla Evans. Filmed at two city parks in Brooklyn. Below is version #1; view version #2 on YouTube.

The Winding Path (2013)

String Quartet performed by The JACK Quartet. Learn about this performance.

Watercolors (2011)

A Musical Tribute to Charles Burchfield at the Parrish Art Museum performed by The Chelsea Quintet. Learn about Watercolors.

Visit Music for a full list of works

© 2016 Nell Shaw Cohen. All rights reserved.
Send questions and comments to nell@nellshawcohen.com