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About Karl Henning

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  • At the College of Wooster (Ohio), Karl Henning studied composition with Jack Gallagher and Paul Schwartz, clarinet and conducting with Nancy Garlick, and choral conducting with Jack Russell. He continued the study of composition at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville) with Judith Shatin and Walter Ross; and at SUNY Buffalo with Charles Wuorinen and Louis Andriessen. At the conclusion of his formal studies, he spent almost two years in Tallinn, Estonia, and another almost two years in St Petersburg, Russia. His time in Russia, particularly, was a rich cultural immersion whose benefits rival and perhaps even outweigh the years of formal study.

    On returning to the US (1996), Karl settled in the Boston area, almost immediately serving as both Composer-in-Residence and assistant choir director at the First Congregational Church in Woburn, Mass. Beginning in 2003 he sang in the choir of the Cathedral Church of St Paul (Episcopal) in Boston; served as Interim Choir Director there (2005-2006), and then for two years served St Paul’s as Composer-in-Residence. The most significant musical result of that period is the Passion According to St John for unaccompanied choir.

    While chamber music for various combinations has always been integral to Karl’s compositional work, 2009 saw the official inauguration of The k a rl h e nn i ng Ensemble, which typically presents at least two concerts each year. In 2013, he was appointed Music Director at Holy Trinity United Methodist Church in Danvers, Mass. In 2014, he was one of a number of composer-conductors to form Triad: Boston’s Choral Collective, dedicated to performing music composed within the prior 25 years.

    Karl’s composition is held in high regard by many professional musicians, in Boston and around the world.


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