Brazilian-born pianist Arnaldo Cohen has a reputation for astonishing audiences with the musical authority and blistering virtuosity of his performances. His graceful and unaffected platform manner belies playing of white-hot intensity, intellectual probity and glittering bravura technique bordering on sheer wizardry. He has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, Bavarian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome under such leading conductors as Kurt Masur, Yehudi Menuhin and Wolfgang Sawallish.
Long in demand internationally, Mr. Cohen has in the last decade entered a rarefied echelon among performers in America as well. His performances in recent seasons have spanned the United States and Canada geographically, including appearances with major orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Recital appearances regularly include important venues in Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto, among other music centers.
Mr. Cohen came to prominence after winning First Prize at the 1972 Busoni International Piano Competition and making his debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. For five years he was a member of the acclaimed Amadeus Trio, and he has performed with many string quartets. He began his musical studies at the age of five, graduating from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro with an honors degree in both piano and violin while also studying for an engineering degree. He went on to become a professional violinist in the Rio de Janeiro Opera House Orchestra to earn his livelihood while continuing piano studies with Jacques Klein, a disciple of the legendary American pianist William Kapell. Mr. Cohen pursued further training in Vienna with Bruno Seidlhofer and Dieter Weber.
His recent discs include a rendering of the Liszt and Rachmaninoff Piano Concerti with the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra. Other critically acclaimed CDs, also on the BIS label, are an all-Liszt solo disc and his pioneering CD, Three Centuries of Brazilian Music.
Arnaldo Cohen is the recipient of an honorary fellowship awarded by the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and he held a professorship at the Royal Academy of Music in London. After living in London for many years, he relocated to the United States, where he holds a full professorship at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. In October 2013 Mr. Cohen was appointed Artistic Director for the Portland International Piano Series, one of the most prestigious keyboard recital series in North America.