Rubbra Viola Concerto soloist Graham Cohen (b.1999) is currently in his second year pursuing a B.M. in Viola Performance at The Juilliard School of Music. He was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, and began composing music at the age of four and studying Violin at the age of five. In 2010, Graham and his family moved to New Jersey when he was accepted to The Juilliard School’s Pre-College division as a composition major, where he studied with Ira Taxin. Upon entering the school, he also switched from Violin to Viola, and became a Viola minor, studying with Kenji Bunch. He began Viola studies with Toby Appel, his current teacher, in 2013.
An avid chamber and orchestral player, Graham played in the New Jersey Youth Symphony, New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra (NJIO), the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestras, the Musica Nova Orchestra in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as chamber music ensembles with the New Jersey Youth Symphony and Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra, throughout high school. He is now a member of the Viola section in the Juilliard Orchestra and Chamber music program at Juilliard. Additionally, Graham is the Viola coach for the Juilliard Pre-College String Ensemble and the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra.
In the 2018-19 season, he will be performing two concertos, Jeff Manookian’s “Improvisations on Armenian Folk Songs” with NJIO, and Edmund Rubbra’s Viola Concerto with the MusicaNova Orchestra. Graham also continues to compose. His most recent commission, “Introduction and Toccata” was recorded by The Lotus Saxophone Trio, and is featured on their upcoming album. His works have been performed by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, MusicaNova Orchestra, The Rogue Trio, The Paradise Winds, and members of the Juilliard community. Graham is a multiple winner of the Morton Gould Award for Young Composers and was the Charlotte Bergen Award scholarship recipient in 2009.