John Cooper

John Cooper was born in Staffordshire in 1958. He studied clarinet with Sydney Fell and saxophone with Neville Duckworth, becoming the first student to gain the Professional Performers’ diploma in saxophone at the Royal Northern College of Music. Upon graduating he was appointed co-principal clarinet to the Orquestra Sinfonica de Bilbao in Northern Spain. He remained there for two years, returning to Manchester to follow a busy and varied freelance career.

In 1986 John joined the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as second and Eb clarinet. He is also the orchestra’s principal saxophonist and, in more than two decades of orchestral playing, has played all of the repertoire for saxophone several times.

In addition to orchestral duties, John enjoys a varied musical life as a chamber music player and is also active as a jazz musician, with Iain Ballamy as his main mentor.