Frank Wildhorn (born 1959) is an American composer known for his musicals and popular songs.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early years[edit | edit source]
Wildhorn was born in New York City, moving with his family to Hollywood, Florida at age 14. Though he was never interested in music growing up, he picked up music at age 15 "when he started fiddling around on the family organ in between football practices." Soon after he taught himself how to play the piano Wildhorn realized he wanted to compose music. During high school, Wildhorn played in and wrote for various bands, ranging from rock and roll to R&B to jazz. He attended Miami University for one year before transferring to the University of Southern California, where he studied history and philophy. He started writing Jekyll & Hyde with a classmate during college.
Career[edit | edit source]
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 is scheduled to open in 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. That musical will premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in California in November 2009. Also in November 2009, one of his other new musicals, Wonderland: Alice's New Musical Adventure will premiere in Tampa, Florida, with another production immediately following at the Alley.
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 the late 1980s.
Wildhorn is Creative Director of Atlantic Theatre, a division of Atlantic Records which specializes in developing new American musical works and their potential stars while strengthening the relationship between commercial theatre and the music industry. 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.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Works[edit | edit source]
- 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 2001. (Houston, TX & Sarasota, FL)
- two songs in Victor/Victoria (1995)
- 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: Alice's New Musical Adventure (2009) - World Premiere: Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, December 2009. (Also: Alley Theatre, 2010)
- Havana - lyrics by: Jack Murphy
Cast recordings[edit | edit source]
Wildhorn had managed to produce a majority of Linda Eder's solo albums, but he 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 America.
- Jekyll & Hyde - Romantic Highlights (1990); Starring: Linda Eder & Colm Wilkinson
- The Scarlet Pimpernel - A New Musical (1992); Linda Eder, Chuck Wagner & Dave Clemmons
- Jekyll & Hyde - The Gothic Musical Thriller(1995): The Complete Work; Linda Eder, Anthony Warlow & Carolee Carmello
- Jekyll & Hyde - The Musical (1997): Original Broadway Cast Recording; Linda Eder, Robert Cuccioli & Christiane Noll
- The Scarlet Pimpernel: Broadway's New Musical Adventure (1998); Douglas Sills, Christine Andreas & Terrence Mann
- The Civil War - Concept Album (1998)
- 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 & Rachel York
- Camille Claudel - Concept Album^ (2004); Linda Eder
- Jekyll & Hyde - Resurrection (2006); Rob Evan, Kate Shindle & Brandi Burkhardt
- Dracula, the musical - New Concept Album (2006); James Stacy Barbour, Lauren Kennedy, Norm Lewis & Kate Shindle (under Global Vision Records)
- Cyrano de Bergerac - The Musical (2006): Concept Album; Douglas Sills, Rob Evan & Linda Eder
- DRACULA, das Musical (2008); Lyn Liechty, Uwe Kroger & Thomas Borchert
- Count of Monte Cristo - The Musical (Highlights) (2009); Brandi Burkhardt & Thomas Borchert
- WONDERLAND: Alice's New Musical Adventure - The Concept Album (2009); Janet Dacal, Darren Ritchie, Karen Mason & Nikki Snelson
References[edit | edit source]
- 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
- Jones, Kenneth.Stark Sands and Laura Osnes Are Bonnie and Clyde in NYC Reading of Wildhorn Musical", playbill.com, February 4, 2009
- 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