November 29, 1959 |
Harlem, New York
|Occupation(s)||composer, songwriter, playwright|
Frank Wildhorn (born November 29, 1959) is an American composer known for both his musicals and popular songs. He is most known for his musical Jekyll & Hyde, which ran four years on Broadway, and for writing the #1 International Hit song "Where Do Broken Hearts Go?" for Whitney Houston.
Wildhorn was born in Harlem and spent his childhood in Queens before moving to Hollywood, Florida at age 14. Soon after he taught himself how to play the piano, Wildhorn realized he wanted to compose music. During high school, he played in and wrote for various bands, ranging from rock and roll to Rhythm and blues to jazz. He attended Miami-Dade College for two years before transferring to the University of Southern California, where he studied history and philosophy. He started writing Jekyll & Hyde with Steve Cuden, who was working at USC when Frank was a student.
In 1999, Wildhorn became the first American composer in 22 years to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway: Jekyll & Hyde at the Plymouth Theatre, The Scarlet Pimpernel at the Minskoff Theatre, and The Civil War at the St. James Theatre.
The musical Carmen, with music by Wildhorn and lyrics by Jack Murphy, premiered in Prague in October 2008. The musical Count of Monte Cristo, with a score by Wildhorn and book and lyrics by Jack Murphy, received a workshop reading in November 2008, and opened at the Theatre of St. Gallen, Switzerland in March 2009. Another musical, with music by Wildhorn and lyrics by Don Black, Bonnie and Clyde, received an industry reading in February 2009 and premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in California in November 2009. Also in November 2009, another new musical, Wonderland: Alice's New Musical Adventure premiered at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Art in Tampa, Florida, with another production following at the Alley Theatre, Houston, Texas, in January 2010.
In the popular music arena, Wildhorn has worked with such artists as Stacy Lattisaw, Natalie Cole, Kenny Rogers, Trisha Yearwood, Tracy Lawrence, Trace Adkins, Patti LaBelle, Dennis DeYoung and Linda Eder, to whom he was married. His "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" was an international number one hit for Whitney Houston in 1988. Wildhorn is Creative Director of Atlantic Theatre, an Atlantic Records division that develops new American musicals. In 2005, he co-founded GlobalVision Records with long-time collaborator Jeremy Roberts. GlobalVision releases include a new concept recording of Dracula, the Musical and a new studio recording of Jekyll & Hyde: Resurrection
- Jekyll & Hyde (1990) – Broke Plymouth Theater Record For Most Performances; World Premiere: Alley Theatre, May 1990. (Pre-B'way National Tour 1995-6; Broadway 1997–2001; Tour: 1999–2003)
- Svengali (1991) – World Premiere: Alley Theatre, April 1991. (Houston, TX & Sarasota, FL)
- two songs in Victor/Victoria (1995) – World Premiere: (Minneapolis, MN)
- The Scarlet Pimpernel (1997) – World Premiere: Minskoff Theatre (Broadway), October 1997. Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Music (Broadway: 1997–2000 (split run(s)), Tour: 2000–2002)
- The Civil War (1998) – World Premiere: Alley Theatre, September 1998. Tony Nomination for Best Original Score and Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Music (Broadway: 1999, Tour: 1999–2000)
- Camille Claudel (2003) – World Premiere: Norma Terris Theatre/Goodspeed Theatre, August 2003. (Goodspeed CT: 2003; NYMF: 2004)
- Dracula, the Musical (2004) – World Premiere: La Jolla Playhouse, October 2001. (Also: San Diego 2001, St. Gallen 2005, Graz 2007)
- Waiting for the Moon (2005) – lyrics by: Jack Murphy – World Premiere: Lenape Performing Arts Center, July 2005.
- Cyrano de Bergerac The Musical (2006) Workshops; World Premiere: Japan, May 2009
- Rudolf – The Last Kiss (2006) – World Premiere: Budapest Operetta Theater, May 2006.
- Never Say Goodbye (2006) – World Premiere: Takarazuka Grand Theater, March 2006
- Carmen (2008) – lyrics by: Jack Murphy; Premiere in Prague, Czech Republic.
- The Count of Monte Cristo (2009) – lyrics by: Jack Murphy – World Premiere: Theater St. Gallen, March 2009.
- Bonnie & Clyde (2009) – lyrics by Don Black; World Premiere: La Jolla Playhouse, November 2009
- Wonderland (2009) – World Premiere: The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, December 2009; Broadway, 2011
- Tears of Heaven (2011) – written with Robin Lerner and Phoebe Hwang; opened in Seoul, South Korea
- Mitsuko (2011) – written with Jack Murphy and Shuichiro Koike as a musical concert, Vienna in 2005; Tokyo and Osaka, Japan in 2011
- Zelda – An American Love Story (musical) (2012) In production at Flat Rock Playhouse.
- Excalibur (2014) – lyrics by Robin Lerner – World Premiere: Theater St. Gallen, March 2014.
- Death Note – lyrics by Jack Murphy 
- Havana – lyrics by: Jack Murphy, Pasadena Playhouse production cancelled, not yet produced
Wildhorn produced (& composed) a majority of Linda Eder's solo albums, and is widely recognized for his ability to release a score before the show opens and selling very well. Below are the Major-concept and cast recordings he has made over his career that have been released, or were planned to at some point in the United States.
- Jekyll & Hyde – Romantic Highlights (1990); Starring: Linda Eder & Colm Wilkinson
- The Scarlet Pimpernel – A New Musical (1992); Linda Eder, Chuck Wagner and Dave Clemmons
- Jekyll & Hyde – The Gothic Musical Thriller: The Complete Work[a] (1995); Linda Eder, Anthony Warlow and Carolee Carmello
- Jekyll & Hyde – The Musical: Original Broadway Cast Recording (1997); Linda Eder, Robert Cuccioli and Christiane Noll
- The Scarlet Pimpernel: Broadway's New Musical Adventure (1998); Douglas Sills, Christine Andreas and Terrence Mann
- The Civil War – Concept Album (1998); Hootie and the Blowfish, Maya Angelou, Trisha Yearwood, Linda Eder, Betty Buckley, Michael Lanning, etc.
- The Civil War – The Nashville Sessions (1998); Blend of Celebrities
- The Scarlet Pimpernel – Encore! (1999); Douglas Sills, Christine Andreas, Terrence Mann, Linda Eder, Rex Smith and Rachel York
- Jekyll & Hyde – Resurrection (2006); Rob Evan, Kate Shindle and Brandi Burkhardt
- Cyrano de Bergerac – The Musical: Concept Album[b] (2006); Douglas Sills, Rob Evan and Linda Eder
- DRACULA, das Musical (2008); Lyn Liechty, Uwe Kroger and Thomas Borchert
- Count of Monte Cristo – The Musical (Highlights)[c] (2009); Brandi Burkhardt and Thomas Borchert
- Wonderland: Alice's New Musical Adventure – The Concept Album (2009); Janet Dacal, Darren Ritchie, Karen Mason and Nikki Snelson
- Tears of Heaven (2011); Linda Eder, Christiane Noll, James Barbour, Rob Evan, Jackie Burns, Morgan James
- Wonderland: Alice Through A Whole New Looking Glass – Original Broadway Cast Recording (2011) – Janet Dacal, Darren Ritchie, Kate Shindle
- Dracula, the musical – New Concept Album (2011); James Stacy Barbour, Lauren Kennedy, Norm Lewis and Kate Shindle (under Global Vision Records)
- Bonnie & Clyde – Original Broadway Cast Recording (2012) – Jeremy Jordan, Laura Osnes
- Jekyll & Hyde – New Concept Recording (2012) – Constantine Maroulis, Deborah Cox
- Grammy Nominated
- Unreleased, all plans are on hold.
- 1998 Tony Award for Best Musical (The Scarlet Pimpernel) – Nomination
- 1998 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music (The Scarlet Pimpernel) – Nomination
- 1999 Tony Award for Best Musical (The Civil War) – Nomination
- 1999 Tony Award for Best Original Score (The Civil War) – Nomination
- 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical (The Civil War) – Nomination
- 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music (The Civil War) – Nomination
- 2012 Tony Award for Best Original Score (Bonnie & Clyde) – Nomination
- Wildhorn biography, accessed February 4, 2009
- "Carmen" information frankwildhorn.com
- Gans, Andrew and Jones, Kenneth."Tale of Two Cities' Barbour and Burkhardt Cast in Monte Cristo Workshop", playbill.com, November 6, 2008
- Gans, Andrew.Borchert to Star in World Premiere of Wildhorn's Count of Monte Cristo" playbill.com, February 18, 2009
- Jones, Kenneth.Stark Sands and Laura Osnes are Bonnie and Clyde in NYC Reading of Wildhorn Musical", playbill.com, February 4, 2009
- Hetrick, Adam and Jones, Kenneth."Wildhorn and Murphy's Wonderland Makes Houston Bow Jan. 15" playbill.com, January 10, 2010
- Weddings: Linda Eder, Frank Wildhorn, The New York Times, May 3, 1998
- Jones, Kenneth. "Frank Wildhorn and Linda Eder, Couple Who Made Music on Stage and in Studio, Split Up", playbill.com, July 28, 2004
- Kaye, Kimberly. Fresh Face: Brandi Burkhardt, broadway.com, September 18, 2008
- "Frank Wildhorn Biography" frankwildhorn.com, accessed March 27, 2012
- Zelda flatrockplayhouse.org
- Frank Wildhorn – Official Website
- Frank Wildhorn at the Internet Broadway Database
- Frank Wildhorn – GlobalVision Records Website