Kevin J. Cope (b. 1981) started as a youthful heavy metal guitarist inspired by the likes of Megadeth and Metallica. His tastes grew into the more intellectual metal of bands like Symphony X and Dream Theater as well as the more psychedelic progressive rock of YES. Through exposure to the classical greats of the 20th century such as Igor Stravinsky, Alberto Ginastera, Richard Danielpour, and John Corigliano his own composition style became more complex while still maintaining a connection to the rock and metal music that he still loves to this day. His unique style incorporates everything from serial techniques, free atonal, Latin dance, Arabian scales, and metal.
A graduate of the University of Delaware with master's degrees in music composition and guitar performance, Kevin has studied with composers Patrick Long, Jennifer Barker, and Andrew Bleckner as well as guitarists Matthew Slotkin and Christiaan Taggart. Kevin has been the recipient of the Emerging and Established Professional Awards for Music Composition as well as the Emerging Professional Award for Music: Solo Recital from the Delaware Division of the Arts and was featured on the cover of Soundboard Magazine in their 40th Anniversary Edition with a focus on composition for the guitar.
A primary composition focus is the classical guitar but Kevin has written for a wide range of instrumentations and has received commissions for many ensembles including horn octet, guitar ensemble (Salisbury Guitar Festival), choir, woodwind quintet, chamber ensembles (Melomanie), and concert band. Solo and duo commissions have also been completed including works for guitar (including the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society competition), flute and guitar, tenor and piano, saxophone and guitar (Duo Montagnard), and guitar duo (Duo Cortado).
Kevin's first CD Destination Unknown, Original Compositions I, Solo Guitar Vol. 1 was described by Classical Guitar Magazine as "a fascinating and stimulating debut that gets better and better the more you listen to it" while analyzing Kevin's compositions as "though there are certainly nods to less conventional modern strains, and a certain dark solemnity...infuses much of this, it still ultimately feels very accessible."
An experienced guitar teacher, Kevin teaches with the University of Delaware Community Music School and the Darlington Arts Center (Shavertown, PA) as well as teaching private guitar and composition students. Kevin is also an experienced Suzuki Guitar instructor in the Newark, DE area.
Currently the president of the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society, Kevin continues to work to enhance the influence the classical guitar and contemporary art music in the Philadelphia area.
Kevin's works are available for purchase from StringsbyMail.com, Sheet Music Plus, and this site. Recording releases include Destination Unknown (Solo Guitar Vol. 1), the saxophone and guitar piece Origin Unknown: A Pole Was Journeying, recorded and released by Duo Montagnard and the solo clarinet piece Sirocco recorded and released by Christopher Nichols and Navona Records.