The American composer and pianist, David Cope, had early study on piano (including an extensive performance career) and violoncello; then completed degrees in composition at Arizona State University and the University of Southern California studying with George Perle, Halsey Stevens, Ingolf Dahl and Grant Fletcher
David Cope is Dickerson Emeriti Professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he teaches theory and composition, and Honorary Professor of Computer Science at Xiamen University (China). He also teaches regularly in the annual Workshop in Algorithmic Computer Music (WACM) held in June-July at UC Santa Cruz.
Davis Cope published over seventy compositions, which have received thousands of performances throughout the USA and abroad, including those by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, and Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra, as well as numerous university orchestras and wind ensembles. His compositions include 13 symphonies, 10 string quartets, and 9 piano sonatas. Twenty-one of Cope's works appear on recordings including Variations (piano and wind orchestra; Cornell University), Re-Birth (concert band), Concert (piano and orchestra, Mary Jane Cope, soloist) and Threshold and Visions (orchestra). Complete albums of his music have appeared on Folkways (2), Opus One and Discant Records and include a wide diversity of works from large ensembles to soloists with electronic and computer-generated tape.
David Cope has received numerous awards including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, fifteen ASCAP standard Panel Awards, Composers' Forum (New York City) recital award, Houston Composers Symposium Award and numerous university grants. He has been guest composer/lecturer at over thirty universities. His New Directions in Music now appears in its seventh edition with positive reviews so numerous they have become prohibitive to reprint. Techniques of the Contemporary Composer, containing over 300 original musical examples composed specifically for the book, and New Music Notation, continue to be used as standard reference tools. His books Computers and Musical Style, Experiments in Musical Intelligence, The Algorithmic Composer, Virtual Music, and Computer Models of Musical Creativity, describe the computer program Experiments in Musical Intelligence which he created in 1981. The program functions by inheriting a composer's style and then composing new music in that style.
Experiments in Musical Intelligence's music is available on four Centaur Records CDís. The first, called "Bach by Design," includes 5 J.S. Bach inventions, a J.S. Bach fugue and chorale, a Mozart Sonata and overture, a Chopin Mazurka, a Johannes Brahms Intermezzo, a Joplin Rag, a Béla Bartók mikrokosmos, a Prokofiev sonata and a work in the style of its creator, David Cope. All works are performed by the program via a Yamaha Disklavier. The second CD, called "Classical Music Composed by Computer," features human performances of works in the styles of J.S. Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Joplin, Sergei Rachmaninov, Igor Stravinsky, and Cope. The third CD, called "Virtual Mozart," contains a symphony and concerto in the style of Mozart. The fourth CD, called "Virtual Bach," contains a keyboard concerto, cello suite, and a concerto grosso in the style of J.S. Bach.
Experiments in Musical Intelligence works for larger ensembles include Horizons for orchestra in the style of David Cope, two operas with librettos consisting of letters by their respective composers: Mozart and Gustav Mahler, a symphony and piano concerto in the style of Mozart, a seventh Brandenburg Concerto in the style of J.S. Bach, and many more. A video called Bach Lives...at David Cope's House describes many of the methods the Experiments in Musical Intelligence program uses to replicate new examples of music and includes live performances of works for fortepiano, flute, organ, and choir. Another video called MozartBalls presents a performance of the Rondo Capriccio (After Mozart) for cello and orchestra with cellist Steven Isserlis as soloist.