Acclaimed as a “young star” and “complete artist” by The New York Times and “extravagantly gifted… poised to redefine what’s possible for singers of this distinctive voice type” by the San Francisco Chronicle, 26-year-old American countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is one of the classical vocal world’s most promising rising stars. Winner of a 2019 William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation Award and both First Prize Winner and Audience Choice Award recipient at the 2018 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, in his breakout 2016-2017 season, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen was awarded the Grand Prize of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was the recipient of a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. He was Third Prize winner of Plácido Domingo’s Operalia in 2019, First Prize winner of the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition, and winner of the Irvin Scherzer Award from the George London Foundation. His first commercial recording project – the world premiere recording of Kenneth Fuchs’ Poems of Life with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta – was honored with a 2019 GRAMMY® Award in the Best Classical Compendium category, which recognizes albums with multiple soloists and multiple works.
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen makes role debuts this season as Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Adelaide Festival in the acclaimed Neil Armfield production conducted by Mark Wigglesworth and as Edgar in Aribert Reimann’s Lear at the Staatsoper Hannover conducted by Christoph Gedschold in a new production by Joe Hill-Gibbins. In the 2020-21 season he was engaged for performances of Rinaldo at the Glimmerglass Festival and for concerts with Ars Lyrica Houston, Kansas City Symphony, at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York, and with Washington Bach Consort.
Highlights of the past season included the role of David in Barrie Kosky’s heralded production of Handel’s Saul at Houston Grand Opera, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Buffalo Philharmonic, and Handel’s Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In the 2019-20 season, he was engaged for performances with Ars Lyrica Houston, Chapelle Royale de Versailles, and Portland Opera.
He joined San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellowship program in autumn 2018 and made a main stage debut with the Company as Medoro in Orlando in summer 2019 under the baton of Christopher Moulds. Performances of the season also included Handel’s Saul with Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (professionally recorded and available on numerous leading streaming platforms), Ottone in Handel’s Agrippina in staged performances with Ars Lyrica Houston conducted by Matthew Dirst, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Matthew Dirst and the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and the world premiere of a ballet by Yuri Possokhov with the San Francisco Ballet. He covered the role of Polinesso in Handel’s Ariodante at the Lyric Opera of Chicago conducted by Harry Bicket, and recorded a program of Gluck, Handel, and Vivaldi for his first solo album with Jeffrey Thomas and the American Bach Soloists.
The New York City native became the first countertenor in the history of the Houston Grand Opera Studio where he was a member during the 2017-18 season. His performances for the company included the roles of Nireno in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Second Maid in Strauss’ Elektra, both under the baton of Music Director Patrick Summers. He made his Cincinnati Opera debut in a new production by Zack Winokur of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea conducted by Gary Thor Wedow and appeared in concert programs of Bach and Handel with the American Bach Soloists and with Ars Lyrica Houston.
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen made his European debut at the Theater an der Wien singing Timante in Gluck’s Demofoonte with Baroque ensemble Il Complesso Barocco, under the baton of Alan Curtis. His opera roles also include Nerone and Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Raphael (The Angel) in Jonathan Dove’s Tobias and the Angel, The Son in Philip Glass’ The Juniper Tree, and Cefalo in Cavalli’s Gli Amori di Apollo e Dafne.
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from Princeton University (with a concentration in Intellectual and Cultural History) and was awarded academic certificates in Vocal Performance and Judaic Studies. During his senior year, he became the first singer in a decade to win the Princeton University Concerto Competition and he was awarded the Isidore and Helen Sacks Memorial Prize for extraordinary achievement in the arts, granted each year by Princeton University to the student of greatest promise in the performance of classical music.