Embrace Everything: A Conversation with Aaron Cohen about Mahler and the Art of Podcasting
The discussion will focus on Mr. Cohen’s chart-topping podcast (now in its second season), Embrace Everything, which celebrates the life and music of Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) through an in-depth exploration of his symphonies. The podcast features commentary from leading scholars, musicians, composers, and conductors from the US and Europe. Find out about Mahler’s music, the creation of the podcast and Mr. Cohen’s career trajectory from professional musician to radio producer.
Aaron Cohen has a varied career centered on music, audio, and media. He is an award-winning radio producer, New York Public Radio’s Director of Programming Operations, and an accomplished musician. Mr. Cohen joined New York Public Radio in 2000 and has fulfilled several different roles within the company since then. From 2000 to 2006, he was a producer at the station. During this time at NYPR, he worked on a wide variety of radio programs, from live call-in shows and concert broadcasts to pre-produced programs and long-form radio documentaries. He has become especially well known for the latter, and a notable highlight is The Ring & I, a one-hour radio documentary about Wagner’s Ring cycle, which he co-produced with Jad Abumrad in 2004. The program won more than ten awards, including the National Headliner Grand Prize, and continues to be broadcast around the world to this day. From 2007 to 2012, he produced more than 50 features for the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday afternoon broadcasts. He produced three features for the CBC in 2009 and 2010, focusing on Le Poisson Rouge, Kronos Quartet, and the then-new Robert LePage Ring cycle at the Metropolitan Opera, respectively. In 2015 and 2016, he produced the WFMT national broadcasts of the Glimmerglass Festival operas (Candide, Macbeth, and Cato in Utica in 2015; The Thieving Magpie, The Crucible, and Sweeney Todd in 2016). In 2017, he produced the WFMT national broadcast of Bellini's Il Pirata from the Caramoor Music Festival. He was a music producer for the American Public Media classical music podcast "Decomposed with Jade Simmons" in 2019.
Mr. Cohen began his career as a classically trained oboist. As a professional musician, he played with many orchestras, including a performance at the Barcelona Summer Olympics in 1992. He also recorded two solo CDs. His first CD, Oboecentric, was recorded in 1994 and features late Baroque and early Classical sonatas for oboe and continuo. His second CD, Oboisms, features works by 20th-century North American composers for oboe and piano.
This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, the Department of Music, and the Program in Comparative Literature.