Henry Dehlinger

biography

Composer Henry Dehlinger

COMPOSER HENRY DEHLINGER (photo by roy cox)

Henry Dehlinger is an American composer of contemporary vocal, choral and orchestral music notable for its stylistic diversity, soaring melodies and complex harmonic idioms. Gramophone Magazine lauds him for his “vibrantly colorful palette.” Audiophile Audition describes his output as "formidably essential listening!"

Dehlinger’s personal musical voice defines a modern and tonal American aesthetic that synthesizes classical and vernacular elements. He pens strong, unique themes and motifs, drawing from a palette of diverse musical styles and genres that reflect the text he is setting to music and emotional responses he means to elicit. He then weaves these rich musical fragments into meaningful—and often dramaticaural experiences.

For the 2019-20 season, newly commissioned Henry Dehlinger compositions receiving their world and local premieres include:

Kohelet is a cantata in five movements for mixed chorus, bass-baritone solo, soprano solo, and instrumental forces that feature organ, harp, percussion and brass. Conceived in the spirit of Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and commissioned jointly by the Washington Master Chorale and the Santa Clara Chorale, Kohelet combines lush, modal melodies, energetic meters, and colorful harmonic textures with Hebrew text drawn from the Book of Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. It makes its world premiere on October 27, 2019 at the Washington Master Chorale's season-opening concert in Washington, DC.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is a sweeping rhapsody for voice and orchestra that suggests the symphonic American vernacular of 20th century composers like Howard Hanson, Samuel Barber and Leonard Bernstein. Adapted from the poem by T. S. Eliot and composed especially for Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes, it uses the melodic and rhythmic contours of Eliot's stream-of-consciousness narrative to dictate mood and melodic character. It makes its world premiere on April 18, 2020 at the National Philharmonic at Strathmore under the direction of Conductor Piotr Gajewski.

Dehlinger's sensitive arrangements of the Duke Ellington Songbook, with their melodic lines and stylish vocal and piano writing throughout, are equally lauded. Audiophile Audition calls them, “stunningly superb, each and every one." Fanfare Magazine describes them as, "superbly judged, from the lyricism through to the stride,” and concludes, "Dehlinger's own arrangement expands the envelope of the original to a more intense experience."

Gramophone Magazine also praises Dehlinger for his “exquisite piano-playing.” He has appeared on leading stages throughout the United States, from the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco to the White House. ConcertoNet.com describes him as "an experienced and versatile soloist." MusicWeb International praises his "delicious piano playing," and Audiophile Audition, his "adroit and sparkling" performances.

He has appeared as featured soloist with The United States Army Chorus, guest performer on Washington’s Embassy Row, and in concert for dignitaries, including the President of the United States and the Prince of Wales.

His recordings have received wide and critical acclaim. In 2011, he released his first album, Evocations of Spain, featuring a selection of piano works from Iberia and Chants d'Espagne by Isaac Albéniz and Goyescas and Twelve Spanish Dances by Enrique Granados. He followed that up with several collaborations with soprano Danielle Talamantes: Canciones españolas: Granados, Falla, Turina  (2014), Heaven and Earth: A Duke Ellington Songbook  (2016), and The Mount  (2016), an original composition commissioned by The Casement Fund that received a resounding ovation both at its New York world premiere and midwest premiere with the Manchester Symphony Orchestra.

Born in San Francisco, Dehlinger grew up studying piano and voice. His first mentors were the late conductor and choirmaster Dr. William Ballard, artistic director of the San Francisco Boys Chorus, and piano virtuoso Thomas LaRatta, founder of the Crestmont Conservatory of Music, both of whom he credits for his early success. Dehlinger earned a reputation as a prodigious talent, performing with major orchestras under conductors such as Riccardo Chailly and Edo de Waart and enchanting audiences with inspired interpretations of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F. He graduated from Santa Clara University where he also studied music and piano.

Dehlinger is an MSR Classics recording artist and voting member of The Recording Academy—organizer of the GRAMMY® Awards—and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). His works are published by HENRY DEHLINGER MUSIC PUBLISHING, Oakton, VA.

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Latest Opus

KOHELET: A Cantata in Five Movements


Kohelet: A Cantata in Five Movements (2019)

Music by Henry Dehlinger

Conceived in the spirit of Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and co-commissioned by the Washington Master Chorale and the Santa Clara Chorale, Henry Dehlinger's Kohelet combines lush, modal melodies, energetic meters, and colorful harmonic textures with Hebrew text drawn from the Book of Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs.

World Premiere: October 27, 2019
Washington Master Chorale
Thomas Colohan, Artistic Director

Instrumentation
SATB, Bass-Baritone Solo, Soprano Solo, Organ, Harp, Percussion, Timpani and Brass.

 

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HEAVEN AND EARTH: A Duke Ellington SongbookHEAVEN AND EARTH
A Duke Ellington Songbook

Danielle Talamantes
Henry Dehlinger

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HENRY DEHLINGER: The MountHENRY DEHLINGER:
THE MOUNT


Danielle Talamantes
Henry Dehlinger

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