Biography


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 calls his work “stunningly superb” and "formidably essential listening!"

Dehlinger looks forward to a remarkable 2019-20 concert season with five works making their world premieres:

Three Choral Songs on James Joyce
On October 27, 2019, the Washington Master Chorale’s 10th Anniversary season opens with Dehlinger’s three new settings of poems by James Joyce. Night Piece is a haunting choral meditation that swells into a tender exultation of the night sky with soaring melodies and lush harmonies. Strings in the Earth and Air is a jazz-inspired hymn of nature with sparkling piano accompaniment and impressionist overtones. Bahnhofstrasse is a recollection of the feelings associated with loss of youth. Four-part vocal lines float wistfully over a minimalist piano accompaniment that steadily reiterates a simple, eerie motif.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
On April 18, 2020, the National Philharmonic at Strathmore under the direction of Piotr Gajewski presents Dehlinger’s Prufrock, a sweeping 21st century rhapsody for voice and orchestra that also suggests the symphonic American vernacular of composers like Howard Hanson, Aaron Copland 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.

Kohelet
On May 8, 2020, the Santa Clara Chorale, in their annual collaboration with the Santa Clara University Concert Choirs, presents the world premiere of Dehlinger’s Kohelet, a cantata in five movements for mixed chorus, bass-baritone and soprano solos, and instrumental forces that feature brass, harp, organ and percussion. Inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and co-commissioned 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.

Dehlinger's cross-genre work, especially his 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. ConcertoNet.com 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, Turin  (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 a 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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2019-2020 Premieres

  • Oct 27
    Washington Master Chorale: Three Choral Songs on James Joyce (World Premiere),  Washington
     
  • Apr 18
    National Philharmonic at Strathmore: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (World Premiere),  North Bethesda
     
  • May 8
    Santa Clara Chorale: Kohelet - A Cantata in Five Movements (World Premiere),  Santa Clara
     

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Premiering in 2020

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: A Rhapsody for
Voice and Orchestra


Music by Henry Dehlinger
Words by T.S. Eliot

A sweeping 21st century rhapsody for voice and orchestra, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock was composed especially for Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes. Adapted from the famous poem by T. S. Eliot, it uses the melodic and rhythmic contours of Eliot's stream-of-consciousness narrative to dictate mood and melodic character.

World Premiere: April 18, 2020
The National Philharmonic at Strathmore
Piotr Gajewski, Music Director & Conductor

Instrumentation
Soparno Solo and Orchestra

 

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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
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Premiering in 2020

KOHELET: A Cantata in Five Movements 

Kohelet: A Cantata in Five Movements

Music by Henry Dehlinger

Inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and co-commissioned by the Washington Master Chorale and the Santa Clara Chorale, Henry'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: May 8, 2020
Santa Clara Chorale and Santa Clara University Choirs, Scot Hanna-Weir, Artistic Director
Thomas Colohan, Conducting

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

 

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I. Hakol Havel (All is Vanity)
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