Lindsay Cooper

Born: 3 March 1951
Died: 18 September 2013

Occupation: Musician and Composer

Challenges overcome: Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Successes, Achievements & Awards:

Lindsay Cooper was a musician, bassoon and oboe player, composer and political activist. She was born in 1951 in North London. Lindsay attended the Dartington College of Arts, the Royal College of Music, and became a member of the Royal Academy of Music, as well as playing with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

In the 1970’s, Lindsay left classical music, and joined the rock and Canterbury music scenes. Lindsay first joined the band Comus, before moving onto Henry Cow, who launched her musical career on the world stage in 1973. After Henry Cow split up, Lindsay co-founded the Feminist Improvising Group, an improvising, avant-garde jazz group in the late 1970s.

In 1982, Cooper formed her own group, The Lindsay Cooper Film Music Orchestra, where she wrote and performed music for TV and film scores. Lindsay’s best-known work was her song cycle, Oh Moscow, from 1987.

In 2014, Henry Cow, Music for Films, News from Babel and ‘Oh Moscow’ reformed to perform Lindsay’s music at three remembrance concerts that took place in November 2014 in London, Huddersfield and Italy.

Challenges Overcome

Lindsay discovered she had multiple sclerosis whilst with Henry Cow in the late19 70’s. However she chose not to disclose this to the musical community until the 1990’s when it left her unable to perform and forced her to retire. Despite all of this, Lindsay is still a highly respected and influential figure in the music world, with many of her works being performed and taught all over the world.

Disability Definitions

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is a nerve disorder that occurs when the insulating layer surrounding neurons in the brain and spinal cord are destroyed.  The disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the movements, sensations, as well as body functions.


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Information sources:

Please click on the information links below to find out more.

Lindsay Cooper. (2015, January 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:35, April 2, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lindsay_Cooper&oldid=643168161

Radio 4 interview Friday 4th Oct 2014 between 4.pm- 4.15.pm Programme ‘The Last Word’.

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