Photo credit Paul Foster-Williams.

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HENZE “Gibt es auf Erden” from Henze Kammermusik


HANDEL “Total eclipse” from Samson

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Highlights with Boston Baroque


MONTEVERDI “Aria Amorosa” from Sí dolce è’l tormento

PURCELL An Evening Hymn

MONTEVERDI “Nigra Sum” from Vespers of 1610

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Praised by the New York Times for his “sweet, penetrating lyric tenor with aching sensitivity,” and by San Francisco Classical Voice as “an indomitable musical force,” Thomas Cooley is a singer of great versatility, expressiveness, and virtuosity.  He is in demand internationally for an exceptionally wide range of repertoire in concert, opera, and chamber music.

He has collaborated with internationally prominent conductors including Teodor Currentzis, Nicholas McGegan, Robert Spano, Manfred Honneck, Donald Runnicles, Helmuth Rilling, Osmo Vänskä, Eji Oue, David Robertson, Markus Stenz, Bernard Labadie, Jane Glover, and Franz Welser-Möst. He performs regularly with major orchestras such as the Atlanta, St. Louis, and National Symphonies; the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec; Copenhagen Philharmonic; Bavarian Radio Symphony; the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig; and the Osaka Philharmonic.  

Thomas Cooley’s repertoire on the symphonic stage includes works such as Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis; Berlioz’s Requiem; productions of Britten’s Peter Grimes and War Requiem in Carnegie Hall as part of the Britten Centennial; Haydn’s Creation; Britten’s Serenade and Les Illuminations; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius; Rihm’s Deus Passus; Mahler’s Lied von der Erde; Penderecki’s Credo, and Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus. Recent highlights include Mozart’s Requiem with musicAeterna, and the world premiere and recording of Christopher Theofanidis’s Creation/Creator with Atlanta Symphony.  Other important recordings include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Copenhagen Philharmonic and the title role in Handel’s Samson with Nicholas McGegan and the Festspiel Orchester Göttingen. 

Renowned for his agility and skill in Baroque music, Mr. Cooley is in demand, particularly as an interpreter of the works of Bach and Handel. This summer he returns for his 9th season as the tenor soloist at the Carmel Bach Festival. He was named Artist-in-Residence by Music of the Baroque in Chicago in the 2015-16 season.  Of his Evangelist with Jane Glover, the  Chicago Tribune wrote, “In the stylish tenor Thomas Cooley she had an ideal Evangelist, firm of voice and commanding of expression.  So intensely did he penetrate the long and demanding narration that the familiar saga took on the urgency of on-site reportage.”  He appears regularly with such groups as Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Handel and Haydn, Akadamie für Alte Musik Berlin, Les Violons du Roy, and the Göttingen Händelfestspiele.  Important recent engagements of Baroque music include Telemann’s Tag des Gerichts in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Evangelist in St. John Passion on tour in Italy with the Munich Bach Choir; Purcell’s Indian Queen with musicAeterna, Bach’s Lutheran Masses with Violons du Roy in Montreal,  Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Seattle Symphony, Handel’s Joshua with Philharmonia Baroque and created the role of Acis in a new production of Acis and Galatea with the Mark Morris Dance Group.

On the operatic stage he has performed many of the great tenor roles in the operas of Mozart, including Tamino, Belmonte, Ferrando, Don Ottavio and the title role in Idomeneo. Other roles include Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in Bernstein’s Candide, and Bajazet in Handel’s Tamerlano.  He was a member of the ensemble at the Gärtnerplatz Theater in Munich for four years.  Additionally, he has performed at the Bavarian State Opera, the Krakow State Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and the Göttingen Händelfestspiele, where he returns in 2020 as Grimoaldo for their 100th Anniversary production of Rodelinda. Of his performance in Turn of the Screw with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Pioneer Press wrote, “Thomas Cooley proved breathtaking as Peter Quint, a ghost seemingly able to hypnotize his victims with, in Cooley’s case, a velvety voice”. 

During the 19/20 season, Cooley will tour with Orchestra of the 18th Century in the role of Don Ottavio for their production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Orchestral highlights include Messiah performances with Seattle Symphony and Boston Baroque and Beethoven works with Cincinnati Symphony. He also makes a return to San Francisco’s Voices of Music performing Bach’s Mass in G. Abroad, he performs Bach’s Phoebus und Pan in Hamburg, and the title role in Handel’s Samson with the NDR Hannover.