John B Hedges

composer & musician

REVIEWS                      INTERVIEWS                      ARTICLES

"John B Hedges is one of the most visual composers working today. Many of his works need to be seen in the minds' eye as well as heard with the far inferior ear."  Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones 

"Hedges' musical sophistication is evident in his use of form and of techniques imported from the pop world, among other things." Olin Chism, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"I, for one, cannot wait until the Hedges performance" David Weuste Fort Worth Examiner

• Top five performances of the Fort Worth Symphony’s 2011-2012 Symphonic Series - Fort Worth Examiner

(about Jungle Book ballet)

"...the  45-minute ballet with a stunning small-ensemble score and crisply told story is an absolute charmer." Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer

• Read the full Philly Inquirer review here.

Interview with Peter Dobrin of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

(about Prayers of Rain and Wind

"Hedges' music often has the immediate emotional impact of a film score. It's evocative, and effectively so, of a steamy Georgia summer's day ending, blissfully, in rain. A little hard to imagine during a Michigan winter, but Hedges worked musical magic." Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk, Grand Rapids Press

"A high spatter of sound opened the concerto’s first movement, marked “Summer Rain.” The movement’s evocation of muggy Savannah gave way to “Hymn,” in which the Richmond Symphony Chorus offered a haunting offstage echo of the African-American Baptist musical traditions of Conyers’ childhood. Finally, in “Stormwinds,” all hell broke — deliciously — loose.  Prayers carried not a hint of the perfunctory, and offered — in the spirit of jolting old clichés to new life — a breath of fresh air.” Anne Timberlake, Richmond Times Dispatch

"The conductor and musicians, including an offstage chorus intoning a Southern gospel melody, reveled in the colorful score Hedges crafts for the orchestra...a concerto-cum-suite full of atmospheric effects, the most memorable of which is a stormy finale." Clarke Bustard, Letter V

• Respect the Bass - Style Weekly

(about Fantasía sobre Yma Sumac)

"It’s not often that a new work by a living composer (and a relatively young one at that) is the biggest crowd-pleaser at a symphonic concert, but that was the case in Bass Hall on Friday night...The atmosphere is often exotic; it surges with energy and consistently appeals to the ear." Olin Chism, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Hedges and Luperi make magic...Hedges presented a recognizable time, place and state of mind...the audience was whisked away to early Hollywood." David Weuste, Fort Worth Examiner

"Hedges has done the instrument a great service by writing this piece. It is modern and up-to-date without assaulting the audience. It has a fusion of classical, folk and pop elements that are both intellectually challenging and crowd-pleasing at the same time. It should be welcomed into the repertoire with a ticker-tape parade." Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones

[For a page of notes on the piece and the full reviews of Victoria Luperi's premiere performances of  this concerto, click here.]

(about A Shipwreck Opera)

"...the text and the music conveyed the story well and effectively...There is some humor, but this seems, overall, a serious work with a serious message...the music is dramatically effective, and the voices are nicely set to ride its several crests." John Lambert, CVNC

(about Clarinet Sonatina "Gumbo"

"He has managed to create a spicy three-movement fusion showcasing virtuosic display in both the clarinet and piano parts. Patterson and Andrist give a dazzling performance of a work that well deserves a permanent place in the repertoire.” Scott Clarke, The Clarinet

(about Fastball)

"Hedges once again scored with an audience pleaser...The sounds were brash and exciting. His bright crowd-pleasing compositions have been well received here, so it was no surprise that this one, a world premiere, would score points." Olin Chism, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Led authoritatively by music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, this proved quite appealing. In anticipation of each pitch, the orchestra is a cacophony of jitters and chatters, a big Straussian tune weaving itself through the complexities. After each of two strikes, the music dims and darkens into bluesy, spooky stuff. I’m not sure what happens at the third pitch — the composer was pointedly ambiguous in onstage comments beforehand — but the piece ends in a great dissonant chord.” Scott Cantrell, Dallas News

'Fastball' will make its first pitch this weekend -

(about Raise Hymn, Praise Shout)

"The gospel sounds from John B Hedges captured the essence of Black Christian rhythms.” Tom Williams, Chicago Critic

"This inventive piece evokes an African-American church service with the bass as preacher and the string ensemble as the congregation.” Anthony Tommasini, New York Times.

"The best part of the evening arrived in the middle, when the hand clapping, foot stomping hymn, Raise Hymn, Praise Shout by John B Hedges, started.” Amy Baxter, Splash Magazines

(about los susurros)

"Winds and strings fashion a dialogue with pianistic accompaniment in a sonic exploration of different voices." James Cotter, Times Herald Record

(about Scirrocco Dances)

"You could mistake Scirocco Dances by Wilmington-born John B Hedges for a mercurial melange of simultaneous events; on closer inspection, they have secret, conspiratorial relationships.” David Patrick Stearn, Philadelphia Inquirer

(about Slapdance)

"...brash energy, combining elements of rock, big band and modern harmonic language into a musical stew all his own....This is a most attractive work that makes a perfect program opener. It pulses with life and energy." Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones