Steve Cohen

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“I had initial skepticism at the prospect of using synthetic reeds. I was fortunate to have been given a few by my friend Eddie Daniels when he came through town one fall. He had been trying them as well. It took me a good 6-8 months of playing around with it before I really took them "out in public". At first I used them only on some outdoor orchestra concerts. I even remember leaving one on the stand afterwards because I couldn't see it or find it after I took it off to put my instrument away! Shortly after this I had been practicing a lot on them and needed to get ready to find a cane reed for an important recital. I simply couldn't find one that was close to being as responsive as the Légères. So I asked Guy to send me a few and they were all great. I used it on the recital and have been using them since. In some ways I can't believe that I am using them for everything, but I am and I have been very happy. My friends and colleagues do not notice anything other than I have much more breath to play long phrases and feel much more uninhibited to express myself musically. Tonally there is virtually no change. It has changed my life and continues working for me after all these years!" - Steve Cohen

New York City born to a Juilliard trained clarinetist, Steve is currently active as both a soloist and chamber performer throughout the U.S. and around the world. He is the Professor of Clarinet at Northwestern University and was formerly Principal Clarinetist with the New Orleans Symphony, later known as the Louisiana Philharmonic.

Cohen joined the New Orleans Symphony in 1975 and remained as Principal Clarinet with its successor, the Louisiana Philharmonic through May of 2004. He was featured as concerto soloist with that orchestra many times. He has also been featured as Concerto Soloist at the Brevard Music Center, where he has played and still continues to play, Principal Clarinet every summer since 1979.

Steve has performed as Principal Clarinet with the Texas Opera Theater, Seoul Philharmonic and Music of the Baroque Orchestra. He and has also performed with the Chicago Symphony, Chicago Lyric Opera, and as a chamber musician throughout the Chicago area.

He has held Master Classes and recitals internationally; throughout Japan, Thailand, Korea, China, Taiwan, Europe and the U.S. Cohen has been a guest instructor at the Oberlin Conservatory, USC and Indiana University among others. Previously on the faculty of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory and Louisiana State University, he is an artist/clinician for Buffet clarinets and a long-time Légère reed artist.  He hosted the 2001 ICA Convention in New Orleans.

Cohen’s teachers have included Loren Kitt, Larry McDonald, Karl Leister and Robert Marcellus. Currently, Steve is an artist/clinician for Buffet clarinets and remains a long-time Légère reed artist. 

Steve has played exclusively on Légère synthetic reeds since 1999! He states: