John recently spent a three-year period as Composer in Association to the Allegri Quartet, for whom he is currently completing a substantial new work. Other projects include a commission from the Nash Ensemble and works for soprano and ensemble, solo piano and two koto. John Cooney is also active in the education field. He was recently appointed composition teacher at the Yehudi Menuhin School and also teaches at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music. In addition he regularly devises and leads composition projects in schools and colleges, working with organisations such as the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Royal Festival Hall and Academy of St Martin in the Fields. He is increasingly sought after as an international consultant in music education, most recently working in Japan and Belgium.
'At the heart of my work are several preoccupations whose collision and interaction generate the impetus of the music. To begin with, a love of sonority, of sound for its own sake. Secondly, my interest in creating music driven by processes of transformation, either harmonic, textural or gestural. A third element is my fascination with music’s ability to capture the mercurial, ephemeral and fragile. Poetic images sometimes lie behind the musical substance of my work. Images drawn from the physical world also give shape to the music, suggesting oppositions or extremes of material and creating a constant sense of searching and mutating.'