Zach Cohen


Has played with The Knights since: I was 19 years old. 

Favorite Knights moment: I have four Knights memories that I recall at the moment. I write them for my fellow Knights so that we can keep them in our collective memory box. My first memory is going to the Long Island retreat and us all eating Lucas' incredible potato fritata after playing scales together for an hour. My second is hearing Johnny and Colin playing Liebeslied and Liebesfreud at the Jacobsen's old apartment. The third was when we played Bartok Divertimento in Ireland together. In this performance I remember the group being so unified in sound and spirit it was as if we were all using the same bow—one group bow. This memory exists in feeling these unified collective movements together. My most recent favorite memory was playing at Ravinia with Eric conducting Copland's Appalachian Spring. As if it was planned, it started raining towards the end of the piece. Rain fell on the wooden roof of the Martin Theatre and it was like we were being accompanied by mother nature—part of something larger than ourselves and the music.  

Zachary Cohen is currently principal bass of the Milwaukee Symphony—a job he won while a senior at Juilliard. As a soloist and active chamber musician Mr. Cohen has collaborated with a wide range of artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Richard Goode, Edgar Meyer, Mitsuko Uchida, Midori, Mark O'Connor and members of the Guarneri, Mendelssohn, and Pacifica quartets. During his summers Mr. Cohen performs at Marlboro Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Alpenglow Music Festival, and Dresden Musikfestspiele.

As an advocate of contemporary music, Mr. Cohen has worked closely with some of today's most respected composers including Henri Dutilleux, Osvaldo Golijov, and Mario Davidovsky. In 2010 composer Robert Cuckson wrote the chamber work Carmina Popoli for Mr. Cohen. The piece was premiered at the Ethical Culture Society for the centennial of the Triangle Fire Commemoration Concert.

While attending Juilliard, Mr. Cohen joined The Knights. He has recorded two albums with the group. Mr. Cohen also performs with the Boston-based orchestra A Far Cry, as well as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

In the 2010-11 season, Mr. Cohen performed Bottesini's Double Concerto for two basses with world-renowned bassist and MacArthur Genius Grant winner Edgar Meyer and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

This past winter, Mr. Cohen had the opportunity to teach at the Gitameit Music School in Yangon, Myanmar. Mr. Cohen believes that music's ability to develop interconnectivity on a person-to-person level, even in nations with such extreme censorship, is a way to bring awareness, educate and communicate across boundaries.

bassThe Knights