DOUGLAS HEDWIG

COMPOSER 
CONDUCTOR - MUSIC JOURNALIST - TRUMPETER 

BIOGRAPHY

DOUGLAS HEDWIG


Throughout his long and highly successful international career in the musical arts, Douglas Hedwig has pursued a wide diversity of expression.  Since 2011 he has focused primarily on composition, with works published by Carl Fischer Music and by TNR Music.  His compositions have recently been performed at the Blossom Music Festival (home of the Cleveland Orchestra), and by the North/South Consonance Chamber Orchestra (NYC), NED Ensemble Chamber Orchestra (Italy), Orvieto Musica (Italy), Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra (TN), Chestnut Brass Company, Choral Arts, soprano Jourdan Laine Howell, and at new music festivals throughout the U.S.  In 2018 he was awarded 3rd Place, nationally, for The American Prize in Chamber Music.  In 2017 he was Composer-in-Residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming, and was elected a full-voting-member of the Recording Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and The Grammy Awards.


Prior to turning his full attention to composition, Douglas Hedwig was a professional trumpeter based in New York City.  He was tenured with The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (27 years; retired), and recorded over 40 albums on major international labels in many diverse styles and with many outstanding artists, including, Steve Reich and Musicians, Federal Music Society, Metropolitan Brass Quartet, and the 1977 Grammy Award winning recording of Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" with the Houston Grand Opera.


This extensive performance background lends a unique approach to his compositional style.  Performers of his composition have commented that the music is challenging, but always enjoyable and gratifying to play or sing.  Audience members have described his music as an engaging mix of tension and released, dramatic in its impact.  There is often a perceptible underlying "architecture" to his works that unifies diverse and contrasting sections and styles.


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As founding-member and director of The Metropolitan Brass Quartet (“Excellent!  A Model of infectious spirit, dashing virtuosity and finely gauged instrumental balance”–Musical America), he toured nationally and internationally under Columbia Artists and Maxim Gershunoff managements, and recorded the ground-breaking album, “Three Centuries for Four Brass” (MSR 1228). Of it’s recent CD re-release, World Magazine states, “this recording remains as gorgeous as it is revelatory.” 


His trumpet playing can be heard on over 40 commercially released albums on major labels in styles ranging from minimalist composer Steve Reich and Musicians (including the now classic 1980 recording, “Music for a Large Ensemble”-ECM Records), to Original Broadway Cast Albums (including the Grammy Award winning recording of “Porgy and Bess” with the Houston Grand Opera), and several TV and radio commercials.  Many audiences are surprised and delighted to learn that early in his career, Doug also performed with The Jackson Five, Sam & Dave, jazz legend, Mel Torme, as well as a week of sold-out performances at New York’s famous Radio City Music Hall with the Gold Record soul band, The Hues Corporation.


In addition to conducting various bands, orchestras and chamber groups in the U.S. (including the United States Army Band at West Point, the Brooklyn College Conservatory Orchestra, and the modern music ensemble, ConTempo), Douglas Hedwig has conducted ensembles throughout Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and England, including a standing-room-only performance at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, and acclaimed performances at London’s Royal Academy of Music.


Dr. Hedwig was Co-Founder and Executive Director of Orvieto Musica, a chamber music festival in central Italy, where he also conducted the wind ensemble, and for three summers served as head of the brass faculty of Sessione Senese per la Musica d’Arte in Siena.  He was Executive Producer and Music Director of the Telly Award Winning TV documentary, “Fanfare” (available on YouTube).  And, in 1995, as part of a research fellowship from The City University of New York, he created the first school-based English Style brass band in the U.S..


AS A COMPOSER, Douglas Hedwig has received commissions from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Chattanooga, TN), and the Chattanooga Symphony.  In 2010 he was commissioned by then Mayor of New York City, Michael R. Bloomberg, to compose music for his Official Inauguration Ceremony (Promenade for a Great City).  He was invited to perform the premiere of his own work for solo trumpet and narrator, It’s Soul of Music Shed, at the 2005 International Trumpet Guild Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.  He also received a commission from New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs to compose the Official March of the New York Naval Militia.


Douglas Hedwig is a Professor Emeritus of Brooklyn College and The City University of New York Graduate Center, and formerly a member of the faculty of The Juilliard School.  He received his doctorate at The Juilliard School, were he was the first trumpeter to earn this degree in the history of the school.  He studied conducting under Anton Coppola (New York City Opera, Seattle Opera) at the Manhattan School of Music, and was selected for master-classes with Leonard Bernstein while studying at Juilliard.  He studied harmony and theory with John Corigliano, musicology under Dr. Barry S. Brook, and ear-training/score-reading with Renee Longy.  His trumpet teachers include: William Vacchiano, Mel Broiles, Edward Treutel, Armando Ghitala and Carmine Caruso. 


In 2012 he retired at the rank of Major from the New York Guard.  During his time in the Guard he served as Commander and Conductor of the 89th Army Band, and was certified as a Military Emergency Management Specialist.  He was awarded the Medal for Conspicuous Service by the Governor of the State of New York, Andrew Cuomo.


He is the recipient of awards and honors from the United States Department of State, The Recording Academy and the Grammy Awards, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (Saratoga, WY), the National Endowment for the Arts, the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the City Council of the City of New York. He also received a Special Citation from the Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department in recognition of his volunteer service as Civilian Bugler with the FDNY during the months following the events of 9/11/2001.


Formerly a resident of New York City, in 2013 Douglas Hedwig moved, with his wife – writer, Mimi Jones Hedwig - to Chattanooga, TN.