Adrienne Cooper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Adrienne Joy Cooper (Khane Freyde)
Born(1946-09-01)September 1, 1946
Oakland, California, U.S.
DiedDecember 25, 2011(2011-12-25) (aged 65)
New York City, New York, U.S.
GenresYiddish, klezmer
Occupation(s)Singer, musician, activist

Adrienne Cooper (September 1, 1946 – December 25, 2011) was a Yiddish singer, musician and activist[1][2] who was integral to the contemporary revival of klezmer music.[3][4]

In addition to her work as a Yiddish singer she was the assistant director at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, program director for the Museum of Chinese in America, and executive officer for programming and executive officer for external affairs for the Workmen's Circle.[5][6] She co-founded KlezKamp.[7] She was a member of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice's Board of Directors until the summer of 2011, when she was diagnosed with cancer. Cooper won the Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Risk Taker Award from the Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in 2010, as well as KlezKanada's Lifetime Achievement Award in Yiddish Arts and Culture.[8][9]

She died of adrenal cancer[10][11] at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan on December 25, 2011, aged 65.[12][13] She had been diagnosed in July 2011[14] and underwent surgery in August 2011.

Cooper is survived by her daughter, Sarah Mina Gordon, a vocalist and co-leader of the band "Yiddish Princess", as well as her mother, two brothers, and her partner, Marilyn Lerner, a pianist-composer.[15]

A memorial service was held on the morning of December 28, 2011, at Congregation B'nai Shalom in Walnut Creek, California. The service was followed by a graveside funeral at Oakmont Cemetery in Lafayette, California. A memorial service in New York City was held[16] on January 1, 2012, at Congregation Ansche Chesed. Shiva was held at Cooper's daughter's apartment in New York City.[17][18]

"A Kholem/Dreaming in Yiddish: A Concert in Tribute to Adrienne Cooper" was organized for December 22, 2012, at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in New York City. More than 50 Yiddish and klezmer musicians and global colleagues performed songs that Adrienne taught, sang, and recorded – these include The Klezmatics, Michael Wex, Shura Lipovsky, Daniel Kahn, Theresa Tova, Zalmen Mlotek, Eleanor Reissa, Wolf Krakowski, Michael Alpert, Michael Winograd, Sarah Gordon.[19] The Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish has been set up. The Foundation holds an annual concert in her memory, where a financial award presented "to an individual pursuing the timeless, boundless, utterly unexpected advantage of working in Yiddish."[20]


Solo Recordings[edit]



  1. ^ JWA tribute to Adrienne Cooper
  2. ^ JWA tribute to Cooper
  3. ^ Adrienne Cooper Embodied Progressive Spirit
  4. ^ Adrienne Cooper, Yiddish Singer and Reviver of Klezmer Music, Dies
  5. ^ Workmen's Circle website Archived January 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ website
  7. ^ Tribute to Cooper at
  8. ^ Adrienne Cooper official website (PDF) Archived February 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Adrienne Cooper official website (#2)
  10. ^ New York Times obituary
  11. ^ Israel National News notice of Cooper's death
  12. ^ "Beloved Yiddish Singer Adrienne Cooper Mourned by Colleagues - WNYC Culture". Archived from the original on 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
  13. ^ "Jewish Music Web Center Announcements: Adrienne Cooper: A Yiddish Light Goes Out". Archived from the original on 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  14. ^ Tribute in Tikkun
  15. ^ Info re Adrienne Cooper's family in The Jewish Week
  16. ^ Memorial service notice in The Forward
  17. ^ Info re Cooper's shiva
  18. ^ Yale University website
  19. ^ Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College, NYC, December 22, 2012
  20. ^ Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish
  21. ^ Adrienne Cooper / Enchanted
  22. ^
  23. ^ Adrienne Cooper / Dreaming in Yiddish
  24. ^ "Remembering Adrienne Cooper | National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene Blog". Archived from the original on 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
  25. ^ Yiddish Revived! New and Old Recordings, June 2001

External links[edit]