Alla Elana Cohen

Associate Professor
617 747-8370

"Coming from Russia, I have created my teaching style by blending Russian tradition with what is valuable in American instruction and my own discoveries. I've written a book based on my own discoveries in developing pitch recognition. I have now also practically finished a book, Art of Modulation, which became the basis for a prototype course I am teaching."

"The main thing in teaching composition is to create an atmosphere in which the natural gifts of the students flourish. That atmosphere depends, I think, upon the ability to enter the world of students' compositions—to let go of your own style when you look at your students' compositions. Whenever any composer, no matter what the age, brings me a composition, as I start to play it, I forget about my own musical world and my own musical style. For that moment, I enter the mind of that person to such an extent as to be able to look at this composition as if it is mine."

"One of my goals is to prepare my students very well to continue their education. For me, the main thing, first and foremost, is that you should develop a commitment to what you are doing in music. This I brought from Russia. My teacher told me that you are totally responsible for each note that you write down on paper. What you are doing becomes a sacred thing in your life, something that makes your life worth living. In a way it is as important as your natural talent. This is a sacred service that we have for our art."

"Every time I look at a student I dream of seeing an all-around musician. We need to make clear to our students that professionalism implies that they know a lot about everything in music. This is of crucial importance. Professionalism is the knowledge and ability to understand every aspect of music and have broad involvement in music." 

Career Highlights
  • B.M., M.M., Moscow State Conservatory
  • Extensive catalogue of compositions in all the genres of instrumental and vocal music
  • Recordings include Dedications, The Route of Compassion, The Day of Atonement, The Road that Chooses Us, and Jupiter Duo
  • Compositions performed by internationally acclaimed soloist-performers, such as the Ariel Quartet, Sebastian Baverstam, Bianca Garcia, the Jack Quartet, Mickey Katz, and Moran Katz
  • Annual composition recitals at the New England Conservatory of Music and Berklee
  • Recipient of commissions and six certificates of excellence from Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)
  • Winner of the All-Union Composers’ Competition (former U.S.S.R.)
  • Faculty member, New England Conservatory of Music
  • Publications include Perfect Pitch for You
  • Member of ASCAP