Cecil Cohen

Cecil Cohen's songs set the poetry of writers from Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen to Sara Teasdale. However, all of them are currently out of print, except for "Death of an Old Seaman," which is included in the Anthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers.

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“Cecil Cohen was born in Chicago in 1894. He was educated at Fisk University of Oberlin Conservatory. Mr. Cohen taught for many years on the faculty of Howard University in Washington DC. Possessed with dynamic temperament and rare artistic style, Mr. Cohen often broke away from formal, measured expression to find a new self-expression in a seemingly chaotic music period of atonal, swing and ecstatic motion. With the same exhaustive and thoughtful precision injected into his teaching, he captured a similar brilliant vitality in his composition. He was reported to be an excellent pianist. Cecil Cohen died in 1967.”

–The African American Art Song Alliance Website

Related Information


With a Song in My Heart

(H. Leslie Adams, Henry Burleigh, Margaret Bonds, Robert Owens and Cecil Cohen)


The Negro Speaks of Rivers

(H. Leslie Adams, Margaret Bonds, Undine Smith Moore, Robert Owens, George Walker, Howard Swanson, Florence Price, Henry Clay Work and Cecil Cohen)


Dorothy Maynor in Concert

(Cecil Cohen and R. Nathaniel Dett)


Sheet Music

Anthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers, Compiled by Willis C. Patterson

Composer(s): H. Leslie Adams, David Baker, Margaret Bonds, Charles Brown, Cecil Cohen, Noel de Costa, Mark Fax, Adolphus C. Hailstork, Eugene Hancock, Thomas Kerr, Jr., Charles Lloyd, Jr., Wendell Logan, Maurice McCall, Dorothy Rudd Moore, Undine Smith Moore, Robert Owens, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Florence Price, Hale Smith, William Grant Still, Howard Swanson, George Walker, Olly Wilson, John Work, Jr.

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