Emil Cooper

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Portrait of Emil Cooper by Aleksandr Golovin. 1919.

Emil Albertovich Cooper (ru: Эмиль Альбертович Купер), also known as Emil Kuper (December 13 [OS December 1], 1877, Kherson, Ukraine, then in Russian Empire – November 16, 1960, New York) was a Russian conductor and violinist, of English ancestry.

He graduated music school in Odessa, Ukraine as violinist and composer. Until 1898 he played recitals as violinist and learned conducting independently. He also studied conducting with Arthur Nikisch. In 1899 together with Leonid Sobinov and Feodor Chaliapin he performed on tour around Russia cities as operatic conductor. He conducted in a variety of locations in Russia, Western Europe and the United States during his career.

He premiered Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Golden Cockerel in 1909.

Kuper / Cooper conducted the first performance of Reinhold Glière's epic Third Symphony, 'Ilya of Murom', on 23 March 1912.

He also conducted Rimsky-Korsakov's Kashchey the Immortal in January 1917 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Emil Cooper emigrated to the West in 1924. He was a long-time staff conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

From 1944 until his death in 1960 Cooper conducted for Pauline Donalda's Opera Guild of Montreal.[1]


  1. ^ Brotman, Ruth C., Pauline Donalda: The Life and Career of a Canadian Prima Donna (1975), p. 96., The Eagle Publishing Company Ltd. Montreal.

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Preceded by
Alexander Khessin
Musical Directors, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Succeeded by
Valery Berdyaev
Preceded by
Teodors Reiters
Musical Directors, Latvian National Opera
Succeeded by
Georg Schneevogt