Paul Cohen


Dr. Paul Cohen has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Richmond Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New York Virtuosi, Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony, and the Philharmonia Virtuosi. His many solo orchestra performances include works by Debussy, Creston, Ibert, Glazunov, Martin, Loeffler, Husa, Dahl, Still, Villa-Lobos, Tomasi, and Cowell. He has also performed with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Cleveland Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, New Jersey Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, Group for Contemporary Music, Greenwich Symphony, Charleston Symphony, New York Solisti, and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. 

He has recorded three albums with the Cleveland Symphonic Winds under the direction of Frederick Fennell, a CD of the music of Villa-Lobos with the Quintet of the Americas, and recordings with the Saxophone Sinfonia, Philharmonia Virtuosi, New York Solisti, Paul Winter Consort, North-South Consonance, and the New Sousa Band. His most recent recordings include Quiet City, a chamber music CD including premiere recordings of works by Ornstein, Lunde, and Harltey; and Breathing Lessons, a CD of new works for saxophone quartet. Earlier recordings include an environmental-jazz CD of solo improvisations; the newly discovered classical saxophone concerto of the 19th-century American composer Caryl Florio; and his solo CD, Vintage Saxophones Revisited, featuring the premiere recording of Cowell's Hymn and Fuguing Tune #18. A specialist on the soprano saxophone, he is the founder and leader of the New Hudson Quartet, which has performed concertos of Calvin Hampton and Nicolas Flagello, and recently released two CDs of American music: Quartet at the Crossroads, and Breathing Lessons on the Parma and Naxos labels. 

Cohen holds a master of music degree and doctor of musical arts degree from Manhattan School of Music. His teachers have included Galan Kral, Joe Allard, and Sigurd Rascher. He has published more than one hundred articles on the history and literature of the saxophone in music journals such as the Saxophone Journal, Instrumentalist, CBDNA Notes, Clarinet and Saxophone Society Magazine of Great Britain, The Grainger Society Journal, and the Saxophone Symposium. Since 1985 he has written a feature column, “Vintage Saxophones Revisited,” for the Saxophone Journal

Cohen has rediscovered and performed lost saxophone literature, including solo works for saxophone and orchestra by Loeffler, Florio, and Dahl (for winds); and rare chamber works by Grainger, Ornstein, Sousa, Cowell, Siegmeister, and Loeffler. Cohen frequently presents lectures on the saxophone, illustrating his talks with rare instruments, manuscripts, and archival material from his private collection. 

Watch Cohen talk about his saxophone collection, widely regarded as the largest private saxophone collection in the world:

  • Expertise