Frank Wildhorn

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Frank Wildhorn
Born (1959-11-29) November 29, 1959 (age 55)
Harlem, New York
Occupation(s) composer, songwriter, playwright
Years active 1977–present

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.

Early years[edit]

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.[1]

Career[edit]

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. In 2004, he collaborated with Don Black and Christopher Hampton on Dracula (musical).

Wildhorn has become a prominent composer globally, with many productions in Europe and Asia having long runs. Jekyll & Hyde is one of the longest running musicals of all time in South Korea. The musical Carmen, with music by Wildhorn and lyrics by Jack Murphy, premiered in Prague in October 2008.[2] 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.[3][4] Another musical, with music by Wildhorn and lyrics by Don Black, Bonnie and Clyde, received an industry reading in February 2009[5] 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.[6]

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.[1] 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

Wildhorn is also the first Broadway musician to work with the Takarazuka Revue on the Cosmos Troupe's production of the musical Never Say Goodbye.

Other musicals include Camille Claudel, which ran in 2003 at the Goodspeed Opera House and a short developmental run at the NYMT Festival in 2004, and Waiting for the Moon starring Lauren Kennedy and Jarrod Emmick in New Jersey in 2005, with the musical being renamed Zelda for a run at Flatrock Playhouse in 2012. Upcoming projects include a musical based off the manga series Death Note, Havana, and song cycle titled Huberman: A Song for My Father, based on the life of Bronislaw Huberman.

Personal life[edit]

Wildhorn married Linda Eder on May 3, 1998. They have a son, and he has another son from an earlier marriage.[7][8] He and Eder divorced in 2004.

Wildhorn was engaged to Brandi Burkhardt, best known for playing the role of Crickett on Hart of Dixie.[9] They separated in late 2008.

As in 2014, He is announced the engagement with Yoka Wao, a former Takarazuka male-role top star who is in the leading role of Never Say Goodbye and the Japanese production of Dracula. They are scheduled to marry in July 2015.

Works[edit]

  • 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[10]
  • Mitsuko (2011) – written with Jack Murphy and Shuichiro Koike as a musical concert, Vienna in 2005; Tokyo and Osaka, Japan in 2011[10]
  • Zelda – An American Love Story (musical) (2012) In production at Flat Rock Playhouse.[11]
  • Excalibur (2014) – lyrics by Robin Lerner – World Premiere: Theater St. Gallen, March 2014.
  • Death Note – lyrics by Jack Murphy [12]
  • Havana – lyrics by: Jack Murphy, Pasadena Playhouse production cancelled, not yet produced

Cast recordings[edit]

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.

  1. ^ Grammy Nominated
  2. ^ Unreleased, all plans are on hold.
  3. ^ Platinum

Award nominations[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Production Result
1998 Grammy Award Best Musical Theatre Album Jekyll & Hyde: Original Broadway Cast Recording Nominated
1998 Drama Desk Outstanding Music The Scarlet Pimpernel Nominated
1999 Tony Award Best Original Score The Civil War Nominated
1999 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music The Civil War Nominated
2012 Tony Award Best Original Score Bonnie & Clyde Nominated
2012 Drama Desk Outstanding Music Bonnie & Clyde Nominated
2012 Outer Critics Circle Outstanding Score Bonnie & Clyde Nominated

Additionally, Wildhorn's musicals "The Civil War" and "The Scarlet Pimpernel" were nominated for Best Musical at the Tony Awards, and "The Civil War" and "Bonnie & Clyde" earned Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Broadway Musical. "Jekyll & Hyde," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "The Civil War," and "Bonnie & Clyde" also received nominations for Outstanding Musical by the Outer Critics Circle.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wildhorn biography, accessed February 4, 2009
  2. ^ "Carmen" information frankwildhorn.com
  3. ^ Gans, Andrew and Jones, Kenneth."Tale of Two Cities' Barbour and Burkhardt Cast in Monte Cristo Workshop", playbill.com, November 6, 2008
  4. ^ Gans, Andrew.Borchert to Star in World Premiere of Wildhorn's Count of Monte Cristo" playbill.com, February 18, 2009
  5. ^ Jones, Kenneth.Stark Sands and Laura Osnes are Bonnie and Clyde in NYC Reading of Wildhorn Musical", playbill.com, February 4, 2009
  6. ^ Hetrick, Adam and Jones, Kenneth."Wildhorn and Murphy's Wonderland Makes Houston Bow Jan. 15" playbill.com, January 10, 2010
  7. ^ Weddings: Linda Eder, Frank Wildhorn, The New York Times, May 3, 1998
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Frank Wildhorn and Linda Eder, Couple Who Made Music on Stage and in Studio, Split Up", playbill.com, July 28, 2004
  9. ^ Kaye, Kimberly. Fresh Face: Brandi Burkhardt, broadway.com, September 18, 2008
  10. ^ a b "Frank Wildhorn Biography" frankwildhorn.com, accessed March 27, 2012
  11. ^ Zelda flatrockplayhouse.org
  12. ^ http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/First-Listen--Jeremy-Jordan-and-Jarrod-Spector-Sing-New-Frank-Wildhorn-Tune-From-DEATH-NOTE-20150201

External links[edit]