From: New York City, New York. LA Opera: Unulfo in Rodelinda (2023, debut).
Acclaimed as a “young star” and “complete artist” by the New York Times and "extravagantly gifted... poised to redefine what’s possible for singers of this distinctive voice type” by the San Francisco Chronicle, American countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is one of the classical vocal world's most promising rising stars.
He has been awarded by many major competitions, including the grand prize of the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a 2017 Sara Tucker Study Grant and 2022 Richard Tucker Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. His first commercial recording project—the world premiere recording of Kenneth Fuchs' Poems of Life with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta—was honored with a 2019 Grammy Award in the Best Classical Compendium category, which recognizes albums with multiple soloists and multiple works.
In the 2022/23 season, he will make three distinguished European debuts: at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in his role debut as Endimione in David Alden's production of Cavalli's La Calisto, led by Christopher Moulds; at Komische Oper Berlin as David in a new production of Handel's Saul by Axel Ranisch, conducted by David Bates; and at the Glyndebourne Festival in his role debut as Athamas in Handel's Semele, in a new production by Adele Thomas, led by Václav Luks. No less vibrant is the artist's concert calendar—highlights include role debuts as Hamor in Handel's Jephtha with Chicago's Music of the Baroque led by Dame Jame Glover, and as Didymus in Handel's Theodora with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, led by Richard Egarr, and Messiah with Masaaki Suzuki and the San Francisco Symphony, with Jeffrey Thomas and American Bach Soloists, and with Scott Hanoian leading the Ann Arbor Symphony under the auspices of the University Musical Society. Other concerts include programs with Geoffrey McDonald and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and with Matthew Dirst and Ars Lyrica Houston.
Highlights of recent opera seasons include his Metropolitan Opera debut as Rosencrantz in the U.S. premiere of Brett Dean's Hamlet in the Neil Armfield production conducted by Nicholas Carter, his debut at the Opernhaus Zürich in a world premiere ballet creation choreographed by Christian Spuck upon the music of Monteverdi’s Madrigals conducted by Riccardo Minasi, and Aryeh's first staged performances of Giulio Cesare in Egitto at West Edge Opera in a new production directed by Mark Streshinsky and conducted by Christine Brandes.
Role debuts also include Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Adelaide Festival in the acclaimed Neil Armfield production conducted by Paul Kildea, David in Barrie Kosky’s heralded production of Handel’s Saul at Houston Grand Opera conducted by Patrick Summers, Medoro in Handel's Orlando at San Francisco Opera under the baton of Christopher Moulds, and Ottone in Handel's Agrippina in staged performances with Ars Lyrica Houston conducted by Matthew Dirst.
On the concert stage, Aryeh made his Russian and role debuts in the title role of Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra led by Christopher Moulds and he sang Prince Go-Go in Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra led by James Gaffigan at the Concertgebouw. He has given performances of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Handel’s Saul with Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (professionally recorded and available on all leading streaming platforms), Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Matthew Dirst and the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He gave his Australian recital debut under the auspices of the Adelaide Festival accompanied by pianist Konstantin Shamray, bowed in a world premiere by choreographer Yuri Possokhov with the San Francisco Ballet, and he recorded a program of Gluck, Handel, and Vivaldi for his first solo album with Jeffrey Thomas and the American Bach Soloists.
The New York City native became the first countertenor in the history of the Houston Grand Opera Studio during the 2017/18 season, and he was a member of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellowship program for 2018/19.
Aryeh is a graduate of the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera (2016) and the Wolf Trap Opera Studio (2017). His additional accolades include first prize in the 2017 Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition and the 2017 Irvin Scherzer Award from the George London Foundation. He was first prize winner and audience choice award recipient at the 2018 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, winner of a 2019 William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation Award, and he was third prize winner in the 2019 edition of Placido Domingo's Operalia. He was first prize winner of the 2022 James Toland Vocal Arts Competition and the 2022 Brava Opera Vocal Competition.
Aryeh earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton University (with a concentration in intellectual and cultural history) and received academic certificates in vocal performance and Judaic studies. During his senior year, he became the first singer in a decade to win the Princeton University Concerto Competition. Upon graduating, he was awarded the Isidore and Helen Sacks Memorial Prize for extraordinary achievement in the arts, granted each year by Princeton University to the student of greatest promise in the performance of classical music. In recent years, Aryeh has given master classes at the University of Michigan, Buffalo Philharmonic, and his alma mater, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of the Arts.
He currently resides in Northern California with his wife Abbi, and he serves as Western Region Soloist Representative on the board of the American Guild of Musical Artists, the union that represents America's operatic, dance, and choral artists.
Learn more at AryehNussbaumCohen.com.