2014 Music Awards Include Academy Alumnus

Crescendo issue: March 2014

Will Cooper (IAA 03-04, IAC St 08, IAC Fac 10-14) is a composer, conductor, and organist. 

Will Cooper is no stranger to professional and artistic success, and in 2014 his star continues to rise after the Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him with the Charles Ives Scholarship during the Academy's 2014 Music Awards. Each year, the Academy honors more than 50 composers, artists, architects, and writers with cash awards ranging from $5000 to $75,000. The recipients of these awards are chosen by committees whose members are drawn from the Academy’s roster. Candidates for awards must be nominated by an Academician, with the sole exception of the Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater. 

Will's award honors composition students of great promise. Despite his long list of accomplishments, Will, born in 1986, still qualifies as a student of composition, making this honor and his success thus far that much more impressive. Will receives a $7500 scholarship with this award. The award will be presented at the Academy's annual ceremonial in May.

Will's music has been performed by Liza Stepanova, Augustin Hadelich, the Juilliard Orchestra, the Scharoun Ensemble, the JACK Quartet, ECCE Ensemble, and the Lysander Trio. His music has been featured at the Wellesley Composers Conference and the Radio France Festival, and has been commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria, Inc. His opera, Hagar and Ishmael, will premiere in 2015 with members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. ASCAP has honored him with Morton Gould awards in 2004, 2007, and 2012, including the Leo Kaplan Award. He studied with Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser at The Juilliard School, and is a PhD candidate at UC Davis, where he studies with Kurt Rohde, Ross Bauer and Pablo Ortiz. William has served on faculty at Purdue University and the Interlochen Arts Camp. He is music director and organist at the Episcopal Church of St. Martin, Davis, and director of the UCD Early Music Ensemble.

"Will has taught for us at Camp for several years and will be returning again this year," says Interlochen archivist and former member of the music faculty Byron Hanson. "I did a work of his with the Academy Band while he was studying at The Juilliard School. He is certainly quite gifted. This is a most impressive award, to be sure. Congratulations are in order!"