Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1951, Robert Wendel showed an early talent for music as a piano student, however, small hands and a broken left wrist redirected his musical interests towards conducting and composing/arranging when he attended the University of Connecticut double majoring in chemistry and music. While at the university, Robert studied with Hale Smith and privately with Leroy Anderson. He also served as assistant conductor of both the University Of Connecticut Symphony and the New Britain Symphony. After receiving his Master of Arts degree, Robert immersed himself in musical theater for several years before he moved to New York City and became an orchestra member and stand-by conductor at Radio City Music Hall under Don Pippin, and conductor/arranger for Carol Channing and touring with "The Pirates Of Penzance" and "Evita".
In 1990 while still touring with stars and shows, ending up with an international tour and VH-1 telecast as conductor for Harry Connick, Jr., Robert started his own publishing/musical rental business, "Robert Wendel Music." His first major arrangement was "A Classical Christmas Suite" and a steady stream of arrangements and new pops works, as well as lighter and more accessible classical works followed and continues to this day. He has been performed in 14 countries, has had multiple broadcasts, and his work appears on several albums for Telarc, Naxos, ABC Classics, and others. Live performances and broadcasts have included the Cincinnati Pops, New York Pops, Atlanta, Houston, Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis, Dallas, Seattle, Flint, National, BBC, Royal Scottish National, Tasmanian, Bochum, Toronto, Edmonton, and many other orchestras, under conductors Erich Kunzel, Steven Reineke, Michael Krajewski, David Charles Abell, John Morris Russell, Enrique Diemecke, Sean O'Boyle, Carl Topilow, and many others.
His work has been featured every December since 2001 on the annual "Flint Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops" telecast on WJRT-TV 12, at a memorial concert for the Challenger astronauts at The Kennedy Space Center, at a concert to honor the Tuskegee Airmen, on the 2006 National Memorial Day Concert to honor the opening of the National World War II Memorial telecast live nation-wide on PBS, and in 2009 as part of the Abraham Lincoln tribute, and again in 2011 for Gen. Colin Powell's welcome home to our troops on the National Mall.
As publisher "Robert Wendel Music" represents works by Michael Gilbertson, Tracey Rush, Nancy Bloomer Deussen, Leroy Anderson, Jerry Herman, Christopher Tyler Nickel, and others. On average, a composition or arrangement of his is performed 1.5 times per day.
Original Orchestral Works:
"Fanfare For Freedom"
(1994) - Premiered by the Atlanta Symphony
"The Tall Ships"
(1999) - Premiered by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
(2000) - Broadcast premiere by the National Symphony Orchestra
"Parade Of The Percussionists"
(2000) - Premiered by the Hilo Philharmonic
"Ride Of The Headless Horseman"
(2001) - from "A Halloween Trilogy" - Premiered by The Queensland Symphony Orchestra
(2003) - Premiered by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra
"The Pit And The Pendulum"
(2004) - from "A Halloween Trilogy" - Premiered by the Chicago Civic Symphony
"Towers Of Light"
(2006) - Premiered by The Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra - Named a finalist in the first "American Prize" in Orchestral Composition
"Trick Or Treat"
(2006) - from "A Halloween Trilogy" - Premiered by the Hilton Head Orchestra
(2008) - Premiered by the University Of Wyoming Symphony
"Fanfare: Welcome Home"
(2010) - Premiered by the Gulf Coast Symphony
"Caribbean Sleigh Ride"
(2010) - Premiered by The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
"The Wolf Was Framed!"
(2011) - Premiered by the Cherokee Symphony, Lee Thorson conductor.
"The Poltergeist Polka"
(2011) - Premiered by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
"The Nativity Bells"
(After Byrd) (2013) - Premiered by The Atlanta Symphony
Original Choral - Vocal:
"Christmas Through Children's Eyes" (2001) - Lyrics by Vince Trani
"Santa Dear" (2002) - Lyrics by Vince Trani and Robert Wendel
"The Bells Of Christmas" (2003) - Lyrics by Vince Trani
"Virginia, 1861" (2011) - For the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, for S.A.T.B. choir, boys choir and orchestra from texts by Melville, and Joyce.
"It Wouldn't Be Christmas Without you" (2011) - Lyrics by Vince Trani - Premiered by the Arkansas Symphony
"This Is Chanukah" (2013) - Co-Premiered by The Philly Pops and The University Of Wyoming Symphony and chorus.
"Holiday Greetings" (2015 - Premiered by The Philly Pops, The Festival Chorus, Philadelphia Boys Choir, David Charles Abell conducting.
For all arrangements & compositions,
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To Robert Wendel Music Lobby
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