Cooper Wood (b. 1999) is a composer from Ohio currently pursuing his doctorate in composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Originally from Madison, Ohio, Cooper began his studies in composition with Dr. Matthew Saunders while still in high school. He attended The Ohio State University for his undergraduate and masters degrees in composition, studying with Dr. Thomas Wells, Dr. Vera Stanojevic, and Dr. Jan Radzynski.
While at Ohio State, Cooper had many works for solo instrumentalist, chamber, and large ensembles premiered. Highlights include: Zephyr (2019) for two flutes and piano, Sonata for Trumpet and Piano (2020), . . . of the light (2020) for orchestra, in transit (2021) for string orchestra, Oppy’s Last Days (2022) for wind ensemble, Hustle and Bustle (2022) for double bass quartet, Autumn’s End (2022) for solo viola and fixed media electronics, and his masters thesis, and so on/and so forth (2022) for chamber ensemble. Additionally, Cooper has written music for five short films, incidental music for two stage productions, and has released three solo EPs of alternative rock songs.
His music draws from both classical and popular idioms, reflecting the diverse musical taste of the composer. Driving ostinati and dense textures are contrasted with sparse, meditative passages that nonetheless exhibit a sense of forward momentum. Rhythm is a key element in Cooper’s work, as nearly every piece is constructed from short, catchy motives in the same way a songwriter composes with the hook in mind. His unique timbral and orchestrational decisions arise from experimentation and the expressive needs of the music, acknowledging the innovations of the past while avoiding stereotyped sonic images. As a whole, Cooper’s music attempts to reflect and comment upon his situation as a young composer in the 21st century, situated at the crossroads of myriad genres and traditions.
In 2017, his piano trio Ghost Interlude won the Cleveland Composer’s Guild Student Composition Contest. From 2019-20, Cooper served as composer-in-residence with The Ohio State Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, his Sonata for Trumpet and Piano was selected to be performed on the 2022 International Trumpet Guild’s New Works Concert in San Antonio, Texas. In 2023, he was awarded 2nd place in the Twisted Spruce Composition Competition for his Three Little Preludes for guitar
He has taught courses in counterpoint, aural skills, and music theory as a Graduate Teaching Associate at The Ohio State University. Cooper also teaches private lessons in composition. His music is published by Murphy Music Press LLC and Double Bass HQ.