Present at rehearsals and concerts from the time of conception, Timpanist/Percussionist Alexander Cohen has had a meandering but passionate relationship with music. From a young age Alex was a student of the piano, which he enjoyed immensely but practiced only occasionally. After several years of frustration, Franklin and Lynette thought another instrument might offer a platform for increased diligence. It was at this time that he took up the cello under the direction of Richard Aaron. Again enjoying the instrument but finding himself bored in the practice room, Alex became intrigued with the more vibrant world of rock ‘n roll. Mr. Aaron agreed that it was best for Alex to give up music and take up the drums.
Several years of study with Feza Zweifel, Paul Cox, and Tom Freer landed Alex at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Richard Weiner and Paul Yancich. It was in the audience at Severance Hall, and in his studies with Mr. Yancich, that a passion for timpani playing developed.
Upon graduation from CIM, Alex became principal timpanist with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, as well as acting principal timpanist with the San Diego Symphony, under Jahja Ling. In 2011, Alex accepted the position of principal timpanist with the Calgary Philharmonic, where he has been able to realize his dream of living near the Rocky Mountains and pursuing his interests of hiking, backcountry skiing, and mountaineering.
He occasionally pulls his sister Diana on a sled during ski expeditions.
The Cohen siblings have the great joy of sharing the stage together every week as members of the Calgary Philharmonic. Alex continues to study, with occasional guidance from David Herbert. In addition to being a founding member of CFC, he has also played as timpanist with the Marlboro Festival Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, New World Symphony, New York String Orchestra, and the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen.