- Featured: David Heckendorn
- Release Date: 3/11/2009
Biography Profile of the Composer I have traveled and performed in Europe and the United States and have produced music for the concert stage and recordings in the neoclassical and Jazz idioms. My music covers a wide range of expression. Cathy Rand says, 'The music of David Heckendorn embodies a musical individuality that enraptures both listener and performer. We are captivated and delighted by the vocal, sultry, improvisatory contour of his melodies, the versatile and imaginative harmonic writing, and amused and at times haunted by his distinctive rhythmic playfulness, elegance, and profundity.' Cathy Rand, Pianist and Educator on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory The Concert Stage In June 1995 I premiered six neoclassical compositions with a 45 piece Orchestra at an East Williston Teacher's Association Scholarship Foundation concert called Mr. Heckendorn's Opus. As stated by David Israel 'The night of the concert was a great success both artistically and financially with the Fund receiving a five-figure boost towards achieving it's goal.' David K. Israel, Chairman In the summer of 1996 I was composer in residence in Bratislava, Slovakia with an American Chamber Orchestra under the auspices of Conservatory Abroad. The Artistic Director of the program is James Brooks-Bruzzese the conductor and artistic director of The Orchestra of the Americas. Maestro Bruzzese says 'It is obvious that David Heckendorn will be one of the most highly recognized composers as we move into the 21st century. His versatility with all mediums of composition places him at the leading edge of his contemporaries.' Maestro James Brooks-Bruzzese Symphony of the Americas In February and November of 1999 I conducted my Children's Everglades Symphony at Broward Arts Center, Florida in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Big Cypress National Preserve. This work was commissioned by The Young Citizens' Conservation Corps and the Symphony of the Americas. On June 16, 2000 I produced a concert of my music with my 11 piece jazz orchestra in Sea Cliff, New York. On July 4, 2000 the National Repertory Orchestra premiered Nature's Universal Throne, my symphonic ode for orchestra, chorus, dance and narration. This piece was commissioned by the Summit County Arts Council of Breckenridge, Colorado through the American Composers Forum as part of the Continental Harmony program. Continental Harmony is an associate partner of the White House Millennium Council. On October 29, 2000 a concert of my chamber music, including a new commission from the trustees, was produced at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Profile of the Music Educator As a music educator for more than thirty I have taught instrumental music, theory, composition, and have conducted well over 20 musical theatre pieces on the secondary and/or college level. I have composed two stage musicals for my students in addition to incidental music for four dramatic theatre productions. In 1995, I served as the production music coordinator and special advisor to Richard Dreyfuss for his Academy award nominated role as a music teacher in the Interscope motion picture Mr. Holland's Opus. In a letter from Richard Dreyfuss he writes 'You were not only patient, you were downright amiable. You are not only talented, you were indispensable. There was no performance without you.' Richard Dreyfuss As a result of the film's success and impact on behalf of music education, Michael Kamen (film composer) has spearheaded, with the help of Richard Dreyfuss and the film's director Stephen Herek, the non-profit organization, Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation (of which I am a Board member) whose purpose it is to help schools throughout the country by providing necessary instruments and encouraging communities to fund music programs. As stated by Mr. Kamen 'The foundation itself is a very hard-working board of about 45 people, devoted to the notion that music education is a major investment in the future of our children.' Michael Kamen, Founder of Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation In the program for a recent concert of mine, Michael had the following to say about our long-time friendship and association: 'David has been a great teacher ever since we were two seven-year-old boys walking, talking on our way to school. He introduced me to jazz and the saxophone. David and I shared a thirst for new sounds and old sounds. He and I share a total absorption in music, and dreams of composing and playing. Years pass steadily, and our dreams do come true! When I was asked to compose music for Mr. Holland's Opus. In which Richard Dreyfuss needed to play both a composer and a teacher, I became his composer and David Heckendorn became his teacher. May the circle be unbroken.' Michael Kamen, composer My Work in Film In addition to having orchestrated, played the piano and clarinet and appeared in the film Mr. Holland's Opus. I have worked on the following films: Shining Through, Assassins, The Krays, and received six credits for my conducting, orchestrating and singing in the film Inventing the Abbotts. Commisssions February 21, 2004: 'The Meadow Lark', a commissioned work for the Mitchell Museum in Mount Vernon, Illinois, was premiered by the Cedarhurst Choral Project and the Pacifica Quartet with the composer conducting. The composer was in residence for two weeks working in the schools and meeting with members of the community. September 27, 2003: Celebrating the 25th anniversary season of Cedarhurst Chamber Music Series, Mt. Vernon, Illinois I performed a concert of my classical chamber music and jazz with four members of the S.I.U. faculty and my collegue, William Kinslow, from New York. November 2002: Commissioned by the Langston Hughes Library and Cultural Center in Queens to revise my symphonic tone poem 'Rivers' for four instrumentalists and two narrators. This piece, which is based upon eight poems by Langston Hughes, was premiered on February 1, 2003. October 29, 2001: Conducted a concert of my chamber music at St. Patrick's Cathedral, NYC including the world premiere of 'I Corinthians 13' for Soprano, four winds and five strings. This piece was commissioned by the trustees of St. Patrick's Cathedral. July 4, 2000: The world premiere of 'Nature's Universal Throne', a symphonic ode with narration performed by the N.R.O. under the direction of Carl Topilow in Breckenridge, Colorado. This piece was commissioned by the Summit County Arts Council through the American Composers Forum (NEA grant) as part of the Continental Harmony program. Continental Harmony is an associate partner of the White House Millennium Council. February 1999: Conducted my Children's Everglades Symphony: 'Visions for the New Millennium' at the Broward Arts Center. Florida in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Big Cypress National Preserve. This work was commissioned by The Young Citizens' Conservation Corps and the Symphony of the Americas.