Henry Wolking is a composer, performer (trombone), conductor, author, chairman of jazz studies and professor of music at the University of Utah. He received his BME from the University of Florida, where he graduated with honors, and the Phi Beta Kappa Creative Achievement Award. He moved next to study composition with Martin Mailman at North Texas State University, where he simultaneously pursued interests in jazz and classical composition, as well as trombone performance. By the time he was awarded his master’s degree, at the age of 23, his reputation as a composer and performer, strengthened by his numerous published compositions, and prizes, brought him to the University of Utah as head of the jazz area.
His jazz and serious works have been played and recorded by the finest orchestras and jazz ensembles in the world. From the Utah Symphony, which in 1982 premiered his Symphony No. 1 “Lydian Horizon” (a semi-finalist in the 1982 Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards), to recordings and performances with the Warsaw Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Jazz Orchestra. He has over 20 compositions for orchestra which include 2 four movement symphonies, a 30 minute ballet, 8 concertos, 4 fantasies, 5 jazz works,and “Tango Jimbo”,a recent tango to be released on a new CRS orchestral CD. His Horn Concerto was recorded and broadcast by the New Zealand Symphony in 1985, and since then, his orchestral works have received performances and recordings by many orchestras including; the Utah, Baltimore, Fresno, New Mexico, Phoenix, Louisville, Colorado Springs, Greenville, Elgin, Rochester, Boise, Walla Walla, Brataslava, Cedar Rapids, Springfield, Fairbanks, Nashville, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Warsaw Philharmonic, London Symphony and various other community, and University orchestras. His composition, Chamber Concerto for Horn, Violin and Bassoon, won first place in the 1987 International Horn Composition Contest, and his second symphony, “Saturnian Verses” was a finalist in the 1991 ASCAP Nissim Awards for outstanding American orchestral compositions. His Woodwind Quintet No.1 was recorded by the Clarion Wind Quintet in 1976 for broadcast on National Public Radio and Voice of America.
He has had over 45 jazz and chamber music works published by major publishers, and over 50 more published through his own company, Wolking Music Publications. His ballet, Forever Yesterday, premiered in April 1992,and was broadcast on the NPR show, Performance Today. A revised rendition of the Ballet that includes narratorand soprano solo was premiered in June of 1995 in Boise Idaho. His 30 minute jazz influenced Trombone Concerto was premiered by the Utah Symphony in 1994, and was subsequently taken on tour by that orchestra.It will be performed in the fall of 1999 with the Billings Symphony. Classical recordings include “The Music of Henry Wolking and Ramiro Cortes ” (Crystal), House of Sky (CRS),Pangaea, (CRS), Forests (MMC),and A Luta Continua and Methenyology on VMM “Music From Six Continents” CD series. His arrangements of Gershwin for two pianos and voice have been released by the Duehlmeier/Gritton Duo on the Centaur label, and several other chamber and orchestral recordings are in progress.
Mr. Wolking has been a yearly recipient of ASCAP Awards (Standard Awards Panel) since 1982. He is a former National Chairman for Jazz Theory of the National Association of Jazz Educators, and has published many articles on jazz theory in the NAJE magazine.