Jackson Cooper, Executive Director
Executive Director Jackson Cooper joined Chamber Music Raleigh in September 2016. In the first year of his tenure, he and the CMR board of directors solidified a partnership with the North Carolina Museum of Art to make it CMR's permanent home for presenting concerts. He has additionally created season partnerships with UNC TV, the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute, UNC Chapel Hill, and others. He has been recognized nationally as being one of the youngest Executive Directors of an arts organization working today.
Raised in Raleigh, Cooper began his arts administration career at age 13 when he was a music copyist for North Carolina Theatre. Since then, he has worked in numerous Triangle arts organizations. While at NC Theatre, he curated and organized the inaugural TheatreSpark for SparkCon. In April 2016, he created the position of Assistant to the Artistic Director, a volunteer position, at PlayMakers Repertory Company where he served for nearly nine months.
Trained as an opera and musical theatre conductor, Cooper has conducted performances with the Durham Symphony Orchestra, served as the student conductor for NC Symphony's Young All Stars program, and was assistant to the conductor for NC Opera and Greensboro Opera.
While a student at UNC-Greensboro, he created an interdisciplinary degree in arts administration. He regularly writes criticism for the Greensboro News and Record, Classical Voice of North Carolina, and is the Music Correspondent for the Winston Salem Journal. He is currently co-editing a book on The Great Conductors with Maestro William Henry Curry as well as two books on film.
An active theatre artist, Cooper has performed as an actor for NC State TheatreFest, written plays for UNC Chapel Hill's Lab Theatre, directed three musicals for UNC Pauper Players, and continues to advise for theatre companies all over the Triangle. He served as Resident Musical Theatre Consultant and a board member for PARK Productions in Pittsburgh. He created and maintained the Assistant to the Artistic Director position for PlayMakers Repertory Company for nine months, assisting in Executive transition and contributing artistic and marketing support for the theatre.
He serves as an Artistic Consultant for the Durham Symphony Orchestra, initiating, with Music Director William henry Curry, programming for a Nina Simone Tribute concert, a collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Singers, and, forthcoming, a tribute to Shirley Horn and Langston Hughes.
In addition to conducting regionally, he holds the newly created position of Assistant Music Director for the Durham Savoyards.
An advocate for collaboration and community service, Cooper serves as a grant panelist for the United Arts council's Professional Development Grant and on the Steering Committee for Triangle ArtWorks' Emerging Arts Leaders program and one the board of the Raleigh Business and Professional Network, Raleigh's LGBT Chamber of Commerce. He is an active member of City Club Raleigh and Club Corp, is an avid runner of half marathons and watcher of Turner Classic Movies.