Ted Hearne

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Ted Hearne
Birth nameEdward Hearne
Born1982 (age 36–37)
Chicago, Illinois
GenresContemporary classical, Avant-garde music, Experimental
Occupation(s)Composer, Conductor, Vocalist
Years active2000–present
LabelsNew Amsterdam Records, New Focus Recordings
Associated actsKatrina Ballads, R WE WHO R WE

Ted Hearne (born 1982) is an American composer, singer and conductor. He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.[1]


Ted Hearne was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, where he was a member of the Chicago Children's Choir. He moved to New York in 2000 and has attended the Manhattan School of Music and Yale School of Music. Hearne's oratorio “Katrina Ballads”, an hour-long work about the media’s response to Hurricane Katrina received widespread acclaim after it was premiered at Charleston's Spoleto Festival in 2007.[2][3][4] His oratorio The Source, about Chelsea Manning, sets text from leaked military documents and was premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.[5]

Hearne has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, A Far Cry, pianist Timo Andres, singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane and other musicians. Hearne has become known for writing in a wide range of contemporary-music styles, and has collaborated with a diverse group of musicians, most notably Erykah Badu, with whom he created an evening-length piece for Badu to perform with the Brooklyn Philharmonic,[6] J.G. Thirlwell, with whom he created chamber-music arrangements of Thirlwell's electronic project Manorexia,[7] and electronic/noise musician Philip White, whom with he performs as R We Who R We.[8] Hearne has also worked with jazz musician Rene Marie, the JACK Quartet, harpist/composer Zeena Parkins[9] and conductor Alan Pierson,[10] and hIs music has been performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), (le) Poisson Rouge, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, and Carnegie Hall.[11]

Hearne is the recipient of the 2009 Gaudeamus Prize in Music Composition,[12] and the 2014 New Voices Residency from publisher Boosey and Hawkes and the San Francisco Symphony.[13] He is currently on the Composition faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Concert works[edit]

Hearne's music is known for juxtaposing diverse styles,[14] and for its often overtly political content.[15] The New York Times has noted Hearne for his “topical, politically sharp-edged works,” [13] and has called his compositional style “nuanced, elliptical and elusive.” [16]

Performer and conductor[edit]

Hearne has performed as a vocalist in several of his own projects, including Katrina Ballads and R WE WHO R WE, and has also performed in works by other contemporary composers. He played the role of Justin Timberlake in Jacob Cooper's opera Timberbrit,[17] and performed at the Ecstatic Music Festival as part of Timo Andres’s Work Songs.[18] Time Out Chicago has called Hearne a “vocal hellion.”[8] He is known for his extreme range and for mixing vocal techniques from different styles, including abrupt register changes, rapid speaking, screaming, rapping, falsetto and crooning.

Hearne is an active conductor of contemporary music. He has worked as a conductor with many ensembles in New York, including the Red Light Ensemble, Bang on a Can, Wet Ink Ensemble, Ne(x)tworks and the International Contemporary Ensemble.[9][19][20]



  • 2010 – Katrina Ballads (New Amsterdam)
  • 2010 – J. G. Thirwell: Manorexia: 'The Mesopelagic Wars' (Tzadik)[27]
  • 2013 – R WE WHO R WE (New Focus) with Philip White[28]
  • 2014 – The Law of Mosaics (Crier) with Andrew Norman and Far Cry[29]
  • 2015 – The Source (New Amsterdam)[30]
  • 2016 – Outlanders (New Amsterdam)


  1. ^ "Ted Hearne". Philipedia. LA Phil. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  2. ^ Rosenblum, Charles (2007-06-02). "A Deeply Moving Tribute". Charleston Post and Courier.
  3. ^ Kozinn, Allan (2010-08-27). "A Flood of Songs Washing Over a City". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Midgette, Anne (17 December 2010). "The Top 10 Classical Albums of 2010". New York Times. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  5. ^ Ramey, Corinne (21 October 2014). "WikiLeaks Inspires an Operatic Source at Brooklyn Academy of Music". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  6. ^ Stewart, Henry (10 June 2013). "Erykah Badu, Serious Composer?". L Magazine. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Manorexia Live". Venture Bros Blog. 1 Jan 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  8. ^ a b Armbrust, Doyle (7 Feb 2013). "Noise artists pervert pop music". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  9. ^ a b Woolfe, Zachary (11 September 2012). "Where words are the notes". New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  10. ^ Ratliff, Ben (9 June 2013). "Minimalist and Rich, in the Space between Funk and Classical". New York Times. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  11. ^ Woolfe, Zachary (12 April 2011). "Turning 150, but Youthful as Ever". New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Ted Hearne wins Gaudeamus Prize". NewMusicBox.
  13. ^ a b Kozinn, Allan (7 April 2014). "Ted Hearne awarded New Voices Residency for composers". New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  14. ^ Berger, Kevin (14 April 2013). "Brooklyn festival samples new classical music of the borough". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  15. ^ Walls, Seth Colter (22 May 2013). "Summer Music Guide: Erykah Badu and the Brooklyn Phil Team Up". The Village Voice.
  16. ^ Woolfe, Zachary (2014-10-24). "Shadowed, Clamoring, Blurry. And With Reason". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Johnson, Daniel (28 April 2012). "Jacob Cooper Finds Grace in Diaphanous Slow Motion". New York Times. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  18. ^ Robson, Britt (18 March 2014). "Timo Andres goes for the beauty". Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
  19. ^ Kozinn, Allan (21 September 2010). "Green Light for Experimentalism: Tweaking Conventions and Bending Rules". New York Times. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  20. ^ Kozinn, Allan (10 December 2008). "Reclaiming a Poet: Old Words, New Music". New York Times. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  21. ^ http://www.muziekweek.nl/organisatie/archief/}
  22. ^ "The Charles Ives Awards". American Academy of Arts and Letters. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  23. ^ "The 2012 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Awards". ASCAP. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  24. ^ "The 2009 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Awards". ASCAP. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  25. ^ "2013 MUSIC ALIVE RESIDENCY AWARDEES". New Music USA. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  26. ^ Kozinn, Allan. "Ted Hearne Awarded New Voices Residency for Composers". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  27. ^ "Manorexia discography". Foetus. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  28. ^ "catalog". New Focus Recordings. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  29. ^ "catalog". Crier Records. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  30. ^ "Ted Hearne "The Source"". New Amsterdam Records.

External links[edit]