Brad Cohen began to work as a music copyist from the age of eleven, preparing materials for Sir Charles Mackerras and other conductors while still a schoolboy in Sydney. He supported his conducting studies through working as a music copyist for organisations including the BBC, ABC, and orchestras, as well as composers. His first edition, a symphony by Cipriani Potter, formed part of his Finals portfolio at Oxford University.
The experience of conducting Les Pêcheurs de perles at Opera North in 1995 was the seed for his current editorial and publishing activity. As he explains in the preface to the edition,
"The state of the score and parts for Pêcheurs came as a shock to me. Here was a standard, much-performed opera: with illegible, faulty, and corrupt material, in which the parts and score often bore no resemblance to each other. I made a private undertaking that, if I were asked to conduct the piece again, I would re-examine the sources."
When Opera Holland Park invited Brad to conduct a new production of Pêcheurs with the RPO in 2002, he took the opportunity to prepare a new edition, and during 2001-2 created this edition himself, using original and unpublished source material from the Bibliothêque nationale de France. At the same time he founded the publishing company PerformingEditions. At its publication and performance, the edition was warmly received by the press. In 2002 the copyright was assigned to Peters Edition for worldwide representation, since when the edition of Pêcheurs has received growing international acclaim and performances. In 2010, the edition was chosen by The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, and Zurich Opera for their respective new productions. In 2011 the Deutsche Oper Berlin presented the edition in concert, and Zurich revived its 2010 production. 2012 saw the edition return 'home' to Paris, with staged performances under Leo Hussain at the Paris Opéra Comique, and a concert performance at the Concertgebouw under Michel Plasson.
Brad's extensive work in the bel canto repertoire also resulted in a new edition of Rossini's Maometto secondo, performed under his direction at the Rossini in Wildbad festival 2002, and released by Naxos as an audio recording in October 2004.
In 2004, in association with SibeliusMusic, Brad published his critical edition of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the first opera published online, with interactive viewing, transposing, and printing.
2004 also saw the publication of Brad's edition of Bellini's Norma, currently represented by PerformingEditions.