William Copper

photo: Linda Moxley

William Copper is an American composer of contemporary classical music, a theorist, and the world’s authority on Intonalism, the science of structuring music according to intonation. His music is praised for its beauty, structural integrity, and innovative originality. He has been a life-long supporter and volunteer as Board Member and Officer for several music and cultural organizations.

Copper’s studies began in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and as his interests turned to creating music, he moved to Philadelphia and spent two years in private composition studies with distinguished American composer George Crumb. Following a year studying independently in New York City, Copper studied music composition at the Eastman School of Music, where his composition teachers included Gerald Plain and Joseph Schwantner. A Fulbright scholarship provided Copper with the opportunity to study composition at the State Higher School of Music (Akademia Muzyczne) in Krakow, Poland with composer Krzysztof Penderecki. At the Yale summer program, he had sessions with Morton Feldman and Seymour Shifrin, and while in Poland with Witold Lutoslawski and Boguslaw Shafer, making altogether an education rarely equaled in late-20th century composition. 

As a theorist of music, William Copper has special interests in formal structures and in pure intonation. His music combines perfectly singable lines in the bel canto tradition with vital rhythmic excitement and timbral subtlety. His research into the connections among musical intonation, harmony, and melodic structures, led to new operas, oratorios, symphonies, and other works for orchestra, chamber groups, and chorus.

Albums

Inviting Worlds Vol 2

Release Date: August 12, 2022
Catalog Number: NV6445
21st Century
Orchestral
Large Ensemble
Orchestra
Hot on the heels of its first edition, INVITING WORLDS VOL 2 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor with the rhythmic dexterity and textural nuance of today’s orchestras paired with a new roster of composers. New sounds and expressions burst with emotion and uplift us through dark days, navigating uncertainty and delivering us to tranquil resolution. From the frenetic energy and hair raising harmony of Chasse Noir to the soothing solemnity of When Quiet Comes, INVITING WORLDS VOL 2 delivers a colorful palette of orchestral virtuosity sure to please any listener who lends an ear.
Discover

Inviting Worlds

Release Date: July 22, 2022
Catalog Number: NV6435
21st Century
Orchestral
Large Ensemble
From the mysterious magic of our darkest corners to the exuberant atmosphere of Carnaval, infinite possibilities lay within INVITING WORLDS from Navona Records. The musical dimensions of several composers are explored by the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, Zagreb Festival Orchestra, and the National Morvian Silesian Theater Choir in this dynamic journey, offering insight into new realms through imaginative approaches to composition. Even in far away lands, close-to-home concepts are explored in thought-provoking soundscapes, showcasing the rhythmic dexterity and textural nuance of today’s orchestras across a wide breadth of compositional styles.
Discover

Prisma Vol. 5

Release Date: April 9, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6344
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
Navona Records’ acclaimed PRISMA series continues with a fifth installment, again showcasing the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra’s riveting take on contemporary composition. With a focus on innovation and imaginative performance, the orchestra brings a breath of fresh air to a repertoire that’s all-too-often dominated by mainstream works.
Discover

Voices of Earth and Air Vol III

Release Date: October 9, 2020
Catalog Number: NV6299
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
Organ
Judging by Navona's VOICES OF EARTH AND AIR VOL III, this century is facing a significant paradigm shift in contemporary composition. The third installment of the trailblazing series again showcases contemporary choral music, and once more, it is mesmerizing – mesmerizingly tonal and aesthetic.
Discover