David Cooper has been named as principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, effective July 8. His appointment was announced June 19 by Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti and CSO Association President Jeff Alexander.
Cooper comes to the CSO from the Dallas Symphony, where he had been principal horn since May 2013, after joining that orchestra’s horn section in 2011. He also served as principal horn of the Berlin Philharmonic from 2017 to 2018. During the CSO’s 2018-19 season, Cooper was guest principal horn in October concerts under Bernard Haitink leading Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6 and later under Muti during the CSO’s Florida tour in February, and in May and June subscription concerts, also under Muti.
In addition, Cooper has been acting principal horn with the Victoria Symphony in British Columbia, Canada, and associate principal horn of the Fort Worth Symphony. He has been guest principal horn of the London Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Cooper also was music director of the Avant Chamber Ballet in Dallas.
A native of Lansing, Mich., he began playing horn at a young age, under the guidance of his uncle and grandmother, both of whom were horn players in the Lansing Symphony. He also studied with Dale Bartlett in Lansing. While in high school, Cooper began performing with the Michigan State University orchestra. He attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. While at Curtis, Cooper received a Tanglewood Fellowship and attended the Tanglewood Institute, studying with Eric Ruske. He also spent three consecutive summers at Marlboro Music festival in Vermont beginning in 2011.
From YouTube: David Cooper in Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 4: