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Biography
John B Hedges was born in 1974 in Wilmington, Delaware. The son of a rock musician, he began studying classical music at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his B.A. in Music in 1994 and his M.M. from Westminster Choir College in 1997.During this time, John B was assistant conductor of the Plainfield (NJ) Symphony Orchestra studying with Roumanian conductor, Sabin Pautza. He then completed post-graduate studies at the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Richard Danielpour and Ned Rorem. In his summers, John B twice attended the Aspen Music Festival where he studied with John Harbison and George Tsontakis and twice attended the Contemporary Composition and Performance course at the Britten-Pears School (as both composer and conductor.) John B subsequently returned to the U.K. as assistant to Oliver Knussen. In addition, he has participated in the Academie Musicale de Villecroze in France, in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s Composition and Conducting Institute and assisted composer Tan Dun on the Metropolitan Opera premiere of The First Emperor.
John B Hedges’ music has been performed throughout the U.S. as well as Canada, France and England. As a composer and conductor he has worked with the Ensemble Modern, New Jersey Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Ensembles the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble among others. He has also conducted concerts at the Academie Musicale de Villecroze and with the Britten-Pears Contemporary Ensemble as part of the Aldeburgh Festival. Recently, John B completed A Shipwreck Opera in One Act in collaboration with fiction writer Aimee Bender, On the Good Foot: a James Brown tribute piece for the Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire, and a sonatina for clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester. In January of 2008, the Grand Rapids Symphony premiered Prayers of Rain and Wind with contrabass soloist Joseph Conyers for whom it was written. John B has also served as orchestral arranger for the eclectic string trio, Time for Three and ABBA: The Tour.
John B has received the Alfred Casselo Award, the Theodore Presser Career Grant, Honorable Mention in the 2000 and 2003 ASCAP Awards, and 2nd prize in the Florilege Vocal de Tours Choral Composition Competition for his piece, "Le Diapason d’Humeur": a collaboration with poet Fred Colier. He also received a 2006 Independence Foundation Fellowship, fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and residencies at the artists colony, Yaddo. John B is currently on faculty at SUNY New Paltz.
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