photo Timo Andres

photo Timo Andres

Ted Hearne


Composer, singer and bandleader Ted Hearne draws on a wide breadth of influences ranging across music’s full terrain to create intense, personal and multi-dimensional works. Hearne’s “offbeat imagination” ( and “seething orchestral textures” (The New York Times) have earned him the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and commissions from the Barlow Endowment and Fromm Foundation.

His commission from LACO’s Sound Investment group follows works written for the European Contemporary Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, eighth blackbird and vocal ensembles Volti and The Crossing. In spring 2014, Hearne was named the next New Voices composer as part of a collaboration among the San Francisco and New World symphonies and music publisher Boosey & Hawkes. With previous Sound Investment commissionees Timo Andres and Andrew Norman, he is a member of the six-person composer collective Sleeping Giant.

Winner of the Gaudeamus Prize, Hearne’s modern-day oratorio Katrina Ballads searingly portrayed the media’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina, and the work’s release on New Amsterdam Records ranked among The Washington Post’s best classical albums of 2010. His 2013 collaboration with neo-soul diva Erykah Badu, for whom he wrote an evening-length work combining new music with creative arrangements of Badu’s songs from New Amerykah: Part One, drew praise from The New York Times for its “rich harmony and tonal range and pulsation.” Also active as a conductor and vocalist, Hearne has recently worked with Red Light New Music, International Contemporary Ensemble and experimental electronic composer Philip White.

A Chicago native, Hearne spent 12 formative years singing with the Chicago Children’s Choir before going on to study composition at Manhattan School of Music and Yale University. He joins the composition faculty of USC’s Thornton School of music in fall 2014.