Dan Cooper's music has been noted in The Associated Press, American Record Guide, Berkshire Eagle, Boston Globe, CurtainUp, Fanfare, Greenwich Times, I Care If You Listen, Metroland Albany, NMC, The New York Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Strings Magazine, Times Union, and Time Out New York, among others - "contemporary impressionism," "invigoratingly eclectic to the max," "inventive," "creative," “fun and exciting,” "kinetic," "vibrant," "drawing on vernacular styles," "especially fascinating," "full of instrumental virtuosity and sly humor," "utterly charming," "incorporates blues..into a contemporary context," "whimsical," "carefree," "effervescent,” "acute," "daring," “rambunctious,” "well-plotted," "hauntingly beautiful," and with a "spirit of originality, verve, and humor, now being passed on to a new generation."
Cooper was born and raised in Manhattan, and educated at Horace Mann, Columbia, NEC, and Princeton. He also completed studies at the Conservatoire de Nice and Fontainebleau. Principal teachers include John Heiss, Steve Mackey, and Paul Lansky. Cooper also studied with Barbara White, Betsy Jolas, Chen Yi, John Harbison, Kenneth Koch, Lee Hyla, Michael Gandolfi, Mindy Kaufman, Osvaldo Golijov, Perry Cook, Philip Glass, Philippe Manoury, Robert Ceely, and Toni Morrison, among others. For several years, Cooper worked as an assistant to electronic music pioneer Otto Luening, who mentored him in composition, orchestration, and musical life in general. The recipient of an Aaron Copland composition fellowship to Tanglewood, Cooper worked as an assistant to Louis Andriessen, and composed and produced incidental music for several acclaimed Shakespeare & Company productions directed by Tina Packer and Daniela Varon: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' 'Coriolanus,' 'King Lear,' and 'The Winter's Tale.' In addition, Cooper's music was premiered at Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall, at a gala event featuring Mike Wallace, Jane Fonda, David Strathairn, and Marisa Tomei.
As a multi-instrumentalist specializing in 7-string bass guitar and also flute with electronics, Cooper has performed all over the world, as a member of singer Ute Lemper's trio, as well as the groups Barbaric Yawp, Erbium, Free Radicals, Nine Live, Sound Liberation, Tilted Axes, Vision Into Art, and The Yorkvillians, among others. Venues include Anadolu Auditorium Istanbul, Austrian Cultural Forum, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Birdland Theater, Bohemian National Hall, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, Bunkamura Orchard Hall Tokyo, Casino de Paris, CBGB's, Chicago Theater, Davies Hall, Dom Omladine Beograda, Drom NYC, Galapagos Art Space, Gallery MC, Grande Auditório do Centro Cultural de Belém Lisbon, Hong Kong City Hall, IndieScreen, Intar Theater, Irving Plaza, Joe's Pub, Jordan Hall, Konserthuset Stockholm, Koseinenkin Hall Osaka, Le Poisson Rouge, Lisner Auditorium, Mäntyniemi Helsinki, Massey Hall, Mercury Lounge, Munich Philharmonic Hall, National Opera Center, NYPL for the Performing Arts - Lincoln Center, 92Y, Nublu, Palau de la Música Catalana, Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Pori Jazz Festival, Rockefeller Center, Rockwood Music Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Royce Hall UCLA, Shapeshifter Lab, Shrine NYC, Spectrum NYC, Staatsoper Berlin, Sydney Opera House, Taplin Auditorium, Teatre Municipal de Girona, Teatro Albeniz Madrid, Teatro Cultura Artística São Paulo, Teatro Grand Rex Buenos Aires, Tenri Cultural Center, The American Airlines (Selwyn) Theatre, The American Museum of Natural History, The Blue Note, The Cell Theatre, The Cutting Room, The Gershwin Hotel, The Harvard Club, The Knitting Factory, The Metropolitan Room, The Players Theatre, The Stone, Town Hall, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, and Weill Recital Hall / Carnegie Hall, among others, plus broadcasts on NBC, BBC, Radio France, Bravo, and RAI. Cooper endorses Overwater basses of Carlisle, U.K.
Cooper’s music has been recognized with various awards, commissions, premieres, readings, performances, recordings, showcases, and residencies from Absolute Ensemble, Albany Symphony, Albany Records, ASCAP, Artists International, Avaloch Music Institute, B3+, Cary Trust, Circadia, Electro-Music, ESYO, Engine 27, Femmes Four, Fontainebleau, Goddard-Riverside, Harlem Chamber Players, Imani Winds, ISC, June in Buffalo, Lumina String Quartet, Majestic Brass, Meet the Composer, NARAS, NEA, NEC, NJSO, NY Licorice Ensemble, NYNME, NYYS, National Flute Association, North River Music, Norwalk Youth Symphony, O'Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, Palisades Virtuosi, PBT Open Air Festival, Scotia Festival, Seattle Symphony - Octave 9, Sidra Bell Dance New York, American Composers Orchestra - Sonic Festival, Sweet Plantain String Quartet, Talujon, Tenth Intervention, Two Sides Sounding, Vox Novus 60x60, Walter W. Naumburg Fund, Willets Road School, and Zentripetal Duo, among others. In 2002, he was appointed to the Liberal Arts faculty of the State University of New York / FIT, where he has created new SUNY General Education Requirement courses in American Music, European-Classical Music, and Latin-American and Caribbean Music. In 2014, he also joined the Dance Department faculty of Marymount Manhattan College, where has taught several music courses and worked as a sound designer for the DAW and Mainstage productions. In addition, Cooper teaches composition at 92Y School of Music, and music and Shakespeare classes at Greenwich House Senior Center. Cooper helped create the community arts program at Goddard Riverside, where he is currently composer-in-residence. He is a co-director of the 501(c)(3) chamber music series and record label Composers Concordance, distributed by Naxos.