Alexander Cohen has been the CPO’s Principal Timpanist since February, 2011. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Alexander earned his Bachelor’s in Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, under the guidance of Cleveland Orchestra members Paul Yancich and Richard Weiner. Before his appointment to the CPO, Mr. Cohen was the Principal Timpanist of the West Virginia Symphony, as well as the acting Principal Timpanist of the San Diego Symphony. He has also performed with the Marlboro Festival Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, the New World Symphony, the New York String Orchestra, and the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen.
He has performed regularly with members of the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and has worked with such conductors as Michael Tilson-Thomas, David Robertson, Jahja Ling, David Zinman, David Atherton, and James Conlon. From a family of fine musicians, his late mother Lynette was a highly acclaimed bassoonist and pedagogue, his father Franklin is the Prinicpal Clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra, and his sister Diana is the CPO’s Concertmaster. Alexander is also a regular performer at ChamberFest Cleveland, an innovative and highly acclaimed international chamber music festival, begun by his sister and father in 2012.
Alexander plays on his custom set of Walter Light Mark XIV Timpani built by the American Drum Company in Denver and is an Evans Drumheads artist.