Hailed by Gramophone Magazine for his “vibrantly colorful palette” and "exquisite piano-playing" that "stands out from the crowd," Henry Dehlinger is active as a composer of contemporary vocal, choral and orchestral music notable for its stylistic diversity, soaring melodies and complex harmonic idioms.

His compositions express a modern, yet tonal American aesthetic that synthesizes classical and vernacular elements. Dehlinger renders strong, unique themes and leitmotifs from a palette of diverse musical styles that reflect the text he is setting and emotional responses he means to elicit. These rich musical fragments are then woven into meaningful—and often dramatic—aural experiences. Audiophile Audition characterizes his output as “stunningly superb” and "formidably essential listening!"

With three world and local premieres of his new music on the calendar, Dehlinger looks forward to a remarkable 2019-20 season. Recently-commissioned concert works premiering this season include:

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
A sweeping 21st century rhapsody for voice and orchestra that also suggests the symphonic American vernacular of 20th century composers like Howard Hanson, Roy Harris and Samuel Barber. 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 cross-genre work, especially his sensitive arrangements of the Duke Ellington Songbook, with their melodic lines and stylish vocal and piano writing throughout, are equally lauded. 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."

As a performer, Dehlinger has appeared on leading stages from the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco to the White House and has performed 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. calls him “an experienced and versatile soloist." MusicWeb International praises his "delicious piano playing," and Audiophile Audition, his "adroit and sparkling" performances.

His recordings have also 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 at its New York City world premiere and Midwest premiere with the Manchester Symphony Orchestra.

Born in San Francisco, Dehlinger grew up studying piano and voice. His mentors were piano virtuoso Thomas LaRatta and choral conductor William "Doc" Ballard, artistic director of the San Francisco Boys Chorus, 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 piano with Hans Boepple.

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 gives you 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

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


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A Duke Ellington Songbook

Danielle Talamantes
Henry Dehlinger

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Danielle Talamantes
Henry Dehlinger

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Upcoming Dates

  • Apr 18
    National Philharmonic at Strathmore,  North Bethesda