James Sohei Cooper joined the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in the 22-23 season. Formerly, he was a principal cellist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has performed throughout the United States and abroad in leading venues such as Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Chicago Symphony Center, the Benedict Music Tent, Toppan Hall in Tokyo, and Usher Hall in Edinburgh.
In 2021 he was awarded the Pirastro Young Artist Prize at the Erben Music Festival in Munich. Previously he was awarded numerous full-tuition fellowships to study and perform at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He has participated in the Kronberg Academy Masterclasses, International Music Seminar Prussia Cove, and Cello Akademie Rutesheim.
He has performed chamber music with Augustin Hadelich, Denis Bouriakov, and Anthony Marwood as part of the Colburn Chamber Music Society, and has also performed in concert with Camden Shaw, James Dunham, and Robert McDuffie. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Colburn Conservatory, where he studied with Ronald Leonard. He also holds a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, Bienen School of Music, where he studied with Hans Jørgen Jensen. He currently plays on a Carl Becker cello.
Outside of music he enjoys traveling, biking, and swimming.