Gary Cooper is a multi-talented musician, equally adept at both harpsichord and fortepiano performance, as well as conducting. His keyboard performances follow strict historic practices and while he is identified with Baroque music, particularly the works of J.S. Bach, Cooper is also known for his incisive Beethoven interpretations. But his repertory encompasses far more than these two composers and the considerable bridge between them: indeed, Cooper has delved into music reaching back to the Renaissance era and extending up through the works of Schubert and Mendelssohn. He has appeared as soloist throughout England, Europe, and the Americas, and often performs in a duo with violinist Rachel Podger. He has also partnered baritone Peter Harvey in an acclaimed recording of Schubert's Die Winterreise and has conducted an array of ensembles, including the Irish Baroque Orchestra, Akademie für Alte Musik, Holland Baroque Society, and the group with which he serves as artistic director, the Belgian-based B'Rock. With the latter ensemble, he has led both orchestral and operatic performances. Cooper has made numerous recordings for many labels, including Channel Classics, Naxos, and Hyperion.
Gary Cooper was born in London in 1968. He studied organ and harpsichord at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester and had later studies at John Loosemore Centre for Organ and Early Music and New College, Oxford, where he was an organ scholar.
In 1990 Cooper co-founded, with Michael Burden, the New Chamber Opera and its accompanying orchestra, the Band of Instruments. Cooper has since led them in numerous performances of operas and choral works by Handel, Rameau, Mozart, and other notables. From 1992-2000 Cooper served as a member of the Baroque group Ensemble Sonnerie.
Cooper gave his Wigmore Hall (London) debut in 2000 with a critically acclaimed performance of J.S. Bach's complete Well-Tempered Clavier on harpsichord. The following year he was named director of music for the New Kent Opera. Cooper has appeared on radio and television with increasing frequency in the new century. His January 2006 Wigmore Hall performance of Mozart sonatas for violin and piano with Podger on BBC Radio 3 was a notable success.
The two recorded the complete works of Mozart for violin and piano for Channel Classics, from 2004-2009, the collective result an internationally hailed benchmark. Cooper teaches both harpsichord and fortepiano at the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music, and York University. He also conducts master classes and summer courses.