Henry Dehlinger


Composer Henry Dehlinger

HENRY DEHLINGER is an American composer of contemporary classical music and fusion of classical music and other genres. He is hailed by Gramophone Magazine for his “vibrantly colorful palette” and “exquisite piano-playing.” Audiophile Audition calls his work "Formidably essential listening!"

His unique compositional style is exemplified in his latest opus: THE LOVE SONG OF J. ALFRED PRUFROCK, a brand-new setting of T. S. Eliot’s seminal poem, written for the beautiful lyric voice of Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes. His sensitive arrangements of Duke Ellington’s music with their melodic lines and stylish vocal and piano writing throughout are equally lauded, with Audiophile Audition calling them “stunningly superb, each and every one.”

With Prufrock, Dehlinger combines engaging vocal and instrumental textures with contrasting moods and colors that complement Eliot’s stream of consciousness narrative. Composed as a one-movement rhapsody for high voice and orchestra, it suggests the symphonic American vernacular of composers like Howard Hanson, Samuel Barber, and Leonard Bernstein.

Dehlinger makes judicious use of polystylism, a growing trend in 21st century music in which elements from diverse musical genres or styles are combined. Dehlinger starts a new work by sketching out discernable themes and recurring motifs, pulling together elements from different musical styles that best reflect the emotional responses he wants to elicit. Then he weaves these melodic and harmonic fragments into a coherent aural experience. One can even hear hints of Dehlinger's celebrated Duke Ellington arrangements exerting a subtle but clear stylistic influence.

When crafting the sound of a tonal phrase, God is in the details. When Prufrock, for example, begins musing upon “the mermaids singing, each to each,” Dehlinger utilizes an unusual blend of extended techniques: artificial harmonic glissandi in the cello part combined with an ocean drum. The result is a remarkable simulation of the sounds of the seashore as seagulls and ocean waves billow through the rich orchestral tapestry.

A celebrated pianist, Dehlinger 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.

Dehlinger won wide acclaim as a masterful interpreter of Spanish music. 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 Canciones españolas: Granados, Falla, Turina (2014), Heaven and Earth: A Duke Ellington Songbook (2016), and The Mount (2016), a recording of his first original composition, a commission from The Casement Fund that received a resounding ovation at its New York City world premiere. He 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).

Born in San Francisco, he 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.

Dehlinger smiles as he recalls his last concert appearance as a young vocalist. “I was eleven years old, and it was a full house. I started the opening notes of the Bernstein Chichester Psalms, the second movement solo, when my voice suddenly cracked! I should have been mortified, but I was annoyed more than anything else. Turns out my voice had changed—at that very moment—and I couldn’t sing a lick.”

Unflinching, he received a standing ovation!


ABOUTAbout Henry Dehlinger




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A Duke Ellington Songbook

Danielle Talamantes
Henry Dehlinger

Preview Album





Danielle Talamantes
Henry Dehlinger

Preview Album

Upcoming Dates

  • Feb 20
    UTEP Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall,  El Paso
  • Feb 21
    NMSU Atkinson Recital Hall,  Las Cruces