the music of Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen composer

Release Date: January 5, 2024
Catalog #: NV6577
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Vocal Music
Piano Trio

Composer Michael Cohen delivers an enticing follow up to his 2022 Navona Records release with ARIA, his second full album of original chamber works. Featuring a mix of studio and live recordings captured from various points in his diverse and expansive career, Cohen’s music emanates a thorough line of vitality and fervor. While strikingly rooted in tonal principles, these works embrace an elegant, confident, and ebullient character, permeated by a magnificent, effervescent spontaneity throughout.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Aria for Flute, Oboe, Cello, and Harp Michael Cohen Jennifer Gunn, flute; Alex Klein, oboe; Claudio Jaffe, cello; Rita Costanzi, harp 10:05
02 Fantasy No. 2 Michael Cohen Marti Sweet, Katherine LiVolsi - violins; Juliet Haffner, viola; Fred Zlotkin, cello; Karen Griffen, flute; Blair Tindall, oboe; Charles Yassky, clarinet; Ethan Bauch, bassoon 13:44
03 2 Songs on Texts of Edna St. Vincent Millay: I. Exiled Michael Cohen Amy Burton, soprano; J.J. Penna; piano 7:51
04 2 Songs on Texts of Edna St. Vincent Millay: II. Time Does Not Bring Relief Michael Cohen Amy Burton, soprano; J.J. Penna; piano 6:18
05 Canção Pequena Michael Cohen Rita Costanzi, harp; Alex Klein, oboe 4:15
06 Monday Morning Michael Cohen Trio Casals | Alexandr Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 7:58

I would like to thank:
Lori Hopkinson of the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Rita Costanzi, John Petrone, Nick Monroe, Charles Yassky, and the Sunflower Music Festival for their help in creating this album.
— Michael Cohen

Aria for Flute, Oboe, Cello, and Harp
Recorded June 17, 2023 at the Sunflower Music Festival in White Concert Hall, Washburn University, Topeka KS
Executive Producer Rita Costanzi
Session Producer Nicholas Monroe
Recording Engineer Brock Babcock
Editing and Mixing Nicholas Monroe

Aria for Flute, Oboe, Cello, and Harp was commissioned by Mary Kay Robinson for the chamber ensemble PANARAMICOS and premiered in 2009. The following year, it saw the Canadian premiere at the Bellingham Festival.

Fantasy No. 2
World Premiere April 6, 1989 on WQXR Radio “On the Air” introduced by Robert Sherman

Live Premiere on April 9, 1989 at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York NY

2 Songs on Texts of Edna St. Vincent Millay
Commissioned by Stephen Novick for live performance at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival on July 19, 2002

Canção Pequena
Recorded June 11-14, 2022 at the Sunflower Music Festival in White Concert Hall, Washburn University, Topeka KS
Executive Producer Rita Costanzi
Session Producer PJ Kelley for Post Haus Acoustic
Recording Engineer PJ Kelley, Brock Babcock
Editing and Mixing PJ Kelley

Monday Morning
Recorded August 28, 2020 at Chamber Morningstar Studios in Norristown PA
Session Producer Brad Michel
Session Engineer Glenn Barratt
Recording Sessions Director Levi Brown
Editing, Mixing, and Mastering Brad Michel

Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Chris Robinson

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Morgan Hauber
Publicity Kacie Brown
Digital Marketing Manager Brett Iannucci

Artist Information

Michael Cohen


New York City native Michael Cohen has a diverse and expansive career as a composer. His many compositions include works for chamber ensemble, musical theater, opera, and television. He attended the High School of Music and Art and the Dalcroze School of Music, graduated cum laude from Brandeis University, and studied composition with Harold Shapero and Irving Fine.

Alex Klein


One of today's leading oboists, GRAMMY Award winner Alex Klein was Principal Oboe with the Chicago Symphony for nine years under Barenboim. Klein won top prizes at the international competitions in Geneva, Tokyo, New York, and Prague.

Rita Costanzi


Through her depth of expression as an internationally recognized harp soloist, actor, writer, and teacher, Rita Costanzi, in the words of Irish Author, Treasa O’Driscoll, “bears the mark of the true artist whose task it is to rise above the tumult of the times. A force of truth and love in herself and a musician of exceptional accomplishment, her playing never fails to touch the souls of listeners in deep and unexpected ways.”

Trio Casals


Since making a highly-praised debut at the 1996 edition of the Pablo Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Trio Casals has delighted audiences with spectacular virtuosity, engaging enthusiasm, and exquisite musical elegance. The ensemble released several commercial albums with PARMA Recordings and Navona Records to critical acclaim with Ovidiu Marinescu and past members including Anna Kislitysyna, Alexandr Kislitsyn, and Sylvia Ahramjian, from the beloved MOTO series to A GRAND JOURNEY and more. Marinescu remains in the current ensemble line up, with Mădălina-Claudia Dănilă and Timothy Schwarz joining in 2024.

Ovidiu Marinescu

Cellist, Composer

Ovidiu Marinescu is internationally recognized as a cellist, composer, conductor, and educator. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Merkin Hall (New York), the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Holywell Room in Oxford, Oriental Art Center in Shanghai, and has appeared as soloist with the London Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, the National Radio Orchestra of Romania, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Helena, Great Falls, Portsmouth, and Newark Symphonies, Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Philharmonic, Limeira Symphony in Brazil, Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain, and most of the professional orchestras in his native Romania. The album LONDON CELLO CONNECTION features Marinescu and London Symphony Orchestra in eight newly commissioned cello concertos by North American composers.

Anna Kislitsyna


Pianist and harpsichordist Anna Kislitsyna made her solo debut at age 10 with the Omsk Symphony Orchestra. She remains in high demand as a soloist, collaborative pianist, and educator. Recent season highlights include five new album productions with PARMA Recordings and two release concerts in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, performing Haydn and Shostakovich Piano Concertos with Helena Symphony and Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, and returning to the Omsk Philharmonic as a soloist to give the inaugural performance on the new harpsichord.

Amy Burton


With a voice the New York Times has called “luminous” and “lustrous,” versatile soprano Amy Burton has sung with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, at the White House, and with major opera companies and orchestras throughout the US, Europe, UK, Japan and Israel. She has won awards from the Gerda Lissner, London, and Sullivan Foundations, and the Marian Anderson International Vocal Competition. She is on the voice faculty of The Juilliard School, Mannes School of Music, and the CUNY Graduate Center.

J.J. Penna


J.J. Penna has performed extensively with a variety of eminent singers, including Kathleen Battle, Harolyn Blackwell, Measha Brueggergosman, David Daniels, Denyce Graves, Ying Huang, Susan Narucki, Roberta Peters, Florence Quivar, and Andreas Scholl. He has held fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Center, Banff Center, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program. He received his training under Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, and Diane Richardson. Devoted to the teaching of classical song literature, he has been on the faculties of The Juilliard School, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Bowdoin Festival, Westminster Choir College, the Renée Fleming Song Studio, and Vancouver International Song Institute. He currently teaches at the Yale University School of Music and the New England Conservatory.


Fantasy No. 2

Concert notes from Dennis D Roone, Strad Magazine, 1989:
“The most imaginative programme for a mixed chamber group that I heard last season was given in Weill Hall (April 9) by Music Amici, a duodecimet whose membership is drawn from the ranks of players who spend much of their time performing anonymously as freelance commercial musicians. In concert, however, there was individuality in plenty, but also immaculate teamwork and a freshness in their response to what they played that many better-known performers might well envy. The world premiere of Michael Cohen’s Fantasy No. 2, an octet for winds and strings, cast in a single movement with three sections, introduced a work that, despite an extremely conservative idiom, possessed craftsmanly virtues that made it of more than passing interest: furthermore, its expressiveness was thoroughly genuine.”

Interview between Robert Sherman and the Composer


Searching my heart for its true sorrow, This is the thing I find to be:
That I am weary of words and people. Sick of the city, wanting the sea;
Wanting the sticky salty sweetness, Of the strong wind and shattered spray;
Wanting the loud sound and the soft sound, Of the big surf that breaks all day;
Always before about my dooryard, Marking the reach of the Winter Sea,
Rooted in sand and dragging drift-wood, Straggled the purple wild sweet pea;
Always I climbed the wave at morning, Shook the sand from my shoes at night,
That now am caught beneath great buildings,
Stricken with noise, confused with light.
If I could hear the green piles groaning
Under the windy wooden piers,
See once again the bobbing barrels,
And the black sticks that fence the weirs,
If I could see the weedy mussels
Crusting the wrecked and rotting hulls,
Hear once a-gain the hungry crying
O-ver-head, of the wheeling gulls,
Feel once again the shanty straining
Under the turning of the tide,
Fear once again the rising freshet,
Dread the bell in the fog outside,
I should be happy! that was happy
All day long on the coast of Maine;
I have a need to hold and handle
Shells and anchors and ships again!
I should be happy…that am happy Never at all since I came here
I am too long away from water I have a need of water near.

Copyright 1921, 1948 by Edna St. Vincent Millay. From COLLECTED POEMS OF EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY HarperCollins.

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Time does not bring relief: you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him in the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountainside;
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go, so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here! And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
Time does not bring relief: you all have lied

Copyright 1917, 1945 by Edna St. Vincent Millay.