The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page -

THIS IS a con­fus­ing time to be a tal­ented young mu­si­cian called Daniel Co­hen. The prob­lem is in the name — there are two mu­si­cally-gifted Daniel Co­hens cur­rently mak­ing their mark, and that is not the only case of mis­taken iden­tity the young com­poser is hav­ing to deal with.

“Ev­ery­one thinks you’re my son,” cries Gail Co­hen, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing at the Bri­tishFilmIn­sti­tute­whenDanielar­rives to be in­ter­viewed about the score theBFI has just com­mis­sioned from him.

Gail, vis­i­bly kvel­ling, seems as proud of his achieve­ment — this is his first com­mis­sioned score — as the 23-year-old Co­hen is him­self. The re­cent grad­u­ate of Lon­don’s Royal Academy of Mu­sic has been asked to set mu­sic to the very first film di­rected by Al­fred Hitch­cock, whose early si­lent works are be­ing re­stored and scored by the BFI as part of next year’s Cul­tural Olympiad.

But while his new pa­trons have made much of Co­hen be­ing the same age as Hitch­cock when he di­rected The Pleas- ure Gar­den, they have merely added to the con­fu­sion. Hitch­cock was 26, the same age as the other Daniel Co­hen, a con­duc­tor who is a pro­tege of Daniel Baren­boim.

More Hitch­cock­ian yet, both Co­hens were un­til re­cently study­ing side by side at the Royal Academy. How­ever, the BFI’s Co­hen ex­plains that he was on a quite dif­fer­ent path from Baren­boim’s Co­hen. “He is pri­mar­ily a con­duc­tor, while I was study­ing com­po­si­tion,” he ex­plains.

It was Co­hen’s teacher at the R o y a l A c a d - emy who was re­spon­si­ble for putting his­name be­fore the BFI w h e n h e h e a r d of their Hitchc o c k project. “He knew my mu­sic very well, and that Hitch­cock­was­suchanin­spi­ra­tiontomy work,” Co­hen says. “It was the movie The Lady Van­ishes that made me re­alise what I re­ally wanted to do was write mu­sic for film.”

Bernard Her­rmann, the com­poser most closely as­so­ci­ated with Hitch­cock, has been as much an in­spi­ra­tion as the di­rec­tor him­self, ad­mits Co­hen, who plays pi­ano and bas­soon. He es­pe­cially ad­mires the re­jected mu­sic for Torn Cur­tain over which the di­rec­tor fell out ter­mi­nally with his Jewish score-writer.

“ H e r r m a n n wrote it for 12 horns. It was never used by Hitch­cock. But you can lis­ten to it on YouTube,” Co­hen says.

A n o t h e r in­spi­ra­tion


Com­poser Daniel Co­hen and his hero

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