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Robert Cogan Memorial Concert at NEC, February 12, 2022

Robert Cogan’s internationally acclaimed books include Sonic Design: The Nature of Sound and Music (coauthor, Pozzi Escot), New Images of Musical Sound, recipient of the 1987 Outstanding Publication Award from the Society for Music Theory, and two books of pioneering spectrographic studies of musical sounds: Music Seen, Music Heard and The Sounds of Song. The Cleveland Orchestra, North and West German radios, RIAS Orchestra of Berlin, the BBC, and the Avignon, Berlin, Gubbio, International Society for Contemporary Music, Montanea, Nice, Prix Italia, and Tanglewood festivals have presented his music, as have distinguished performers throughout the world including Marilyn Crispell, Jan de Gaetani, Joan Heller, Robert Henry, Jacques-Louis Monod, and Leopold Stokowski. His works have been performed, and he has spoken on theoretical and creative matters to the College Music Society, Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music, the International Computer Music Association, IRCAM (Paris), the Music Teachers National Association, SEM (Stockholm), Società Italiana di Analisi Musicale, the Society of Composers, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Society for Music Theory, and at musical institutions in Belgium, China, Czechoslavakia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, and throughout the U.S. Cogan received the Young Composer’s Radio Award (BMI), Chopin and Fulbright scholarships, German government grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency.

Robert passed away on August 19, 2021, at the age of 91. His remembrance can be found here. You can also watch the roundtable discussion which was held as part of his memorial concert events at NEC in February 2022.


B.M., M.M., University of Michigan; M.F.A., Princeton University. Studies with Ross Lee Finney, Nadia Boulanger, Aaron Copland, Roger Sessions, Phillip Jarnach. Recordings on Delos, Golden Crest, Leo, Music & Arts, Neuma, Spectrum. Visiting faculty at Berkshire Music Center (Tanglewood), SUNY/Purchase, IBM Watson Research Center, Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, and Shanghai Conservatory. Codirector of the Talloires International Composers Conference (France). Woodrow Wilson Foundation National Lecturer.