Barbara Hedlund Profile

Multi-Award Winning Cellist & Educator
● Orchestra Personnel Manager & Operations

● Artist Representative
● Music Editor & Publisher
● City Public Arts & Culture Commissioner
Regional CU Symphony In School Music
Program Coordinator/Producer/

Orchestral and Broadway veteran, Barbara Hedlund, is a recipient of multiple awards including a shared Emmy, Tony, Grammy, and Gran Prix du Disque and Woman of Distinction. She maintains an active career as orchestral & chamber musician, solo and recording artist, orchestral and college administrator, music editor and publisher, orchestra and ensemble founder, personnel manager, orchestral music librarian, competition adjudicator, associate producer for Public Radio & TV, concert producer, a founding Urbana Public Arts & Culture Commissioner, young artist scholarship sponsor and mentor.  

With decades of performances, music management & educator experience, her legacy demonstrates commitments to live music, arts education, innovative programming, collaboration, customer and community service, arts management and advocacy. Previously teaching at Wilkes College, the University of Illinois, Illinois State University, Parkland College, Strings at Allerton Symposiums for the Illinois Council of Orchestras, and Eureka College Summer Strings Festivals, Barbara Hedlund teaches privately and coaches youth orchestra celli, plus coordinates, develops, and performs over 20 annual Champaign Urbana Symphony In-School performances throughout the region. Her music publication company, VCello Music publishes music for solo cello, cello ensembles, and arias with voice, cello obbligato solos, and keyboard. 

Barbara Hedlund performed in recital and for orchestras, opera & ballet companies, film and television in the South and North Eastern USA including the NY Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Broadway shows, Radio City Music Hall, the Westbury Music Fair, including US and European tours.

She currently performs as Principal Cello for the Champaign Urbana Symphony, Danville Symphony, Heartland Festival Orchestra, Sugar Creek Opera, and regional single engagements booked through her agency 1st Choice Music Services. Recent appearances include performances in Los Angeles & Irvine, CA, Champaign, Peoria,  Urbana, Washington and Savoy, IL, recorded the sound track for an independent film “The Blacksmith”, premiered works by contemporary composers Richard Faith, Stacy Garrop, Elaine Fine, Michael Alexander, and Carlos Carillo, performed as solo cellist in the musical John & Jen at the Parkland College Black Box Theater, for Beauty and the Beast with the Danville Symphony, two benefit recitals for the CUSO In School programs, Krannert Uncorked, and several recitals in Savoy and Peoria, IL. 

Who's Who Listings: Marquis Directories [Lifetime Achievement, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the Midwest, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who In American Universities], the International Who's Who in Music and Musicians Directory, Who's Who in the World], the National Register [Who's Who in Executives and Professionals edition], America's Registry of Outstanding Professionals, plus Cambridge Directory for Who's Who Among Executive
& Professional Women

Multiple Awards 
● 2016 & 2018 League of American Orchestras Ford Musician Award Nominee
● Board of Governors (National Association of Nonprofit Organizations
2016 & 2017 Nominee
● Emmy Award for Best Music for a 2003 PBS WILL- TV Performance
The Song and Slogan as Associate Producer, Music
   Producer, Cellist, plus 4 Emmy nominations for Best Music, Best
   Performing Arts/Entertainment, Best Director, & Best Videographer
● Shared Grammy Award, Tony Award, and France's Grand Prix du
Award as musician for the RCA Victor Porgy and Bess Album,
   John de Main,
Music Director, Houston Grand Opera Broadway

● Roger Ebert Film Festival Thumbs Up Producer Award as producer and
   performer for
Sadie Thompson
Woman of Distinction Award  - Girl
Scout Council of Central Illinois 2011
● Illinois House of Representatives Senate Recognition Award 2011
● Illinois Council of Orchestras Chamber Orchestra of the Year Award -
   January 2000 for (BACH) Baroque Artists of CHampaign Urbana as co-founder,
   executive director, personnel/operations manager, development officer,
   chief benefactor, & cello continuo soloist

● IL Council of Orchestras Meritorious Service Award recipient (1998-99)
● IL Governor’s Arts Award as Individual Artist and Special Recognition
November 1999
● Lifetime Achievement Ace Award 2005 nominee/finalist for the inaugural 40
   North ACE Award celebrating the accumulated successes of an individual for
   continued, outstanding support of the arts extraordinary contributions to the
   cultural life of Champaign County

● Crystal Award of Excellence from the International Communicator Awards
   Committee for Broadcasting Excellence - a  shared award for a live Second
   Sunday Concert on WILL- FM radio - Jan. 2003, & featured in a Second
   Sunday Concert TV Advertisement

● Champaign Urbana Symphony fund raiser recognition 1994, 2008, 2017, 18, & 19
● NW Symphony Paul Vermel Annual Young Artist Award - creator/donor 
● National Honor Society

Orchestral Training: She trained in the finest orchestral traditions with Principal & Associate Principal Cellists of the Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, & London Symphony.

Prior to moving to Illinois, she performed with:

New York Philharmonic (regular substitute for 3 seasons), New Jersey Symphony (
Principal Cellist 5 years), Westfield Symphony and Quartet (2 years Founding Principal Cellist), & Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic (10 years Principal Cellist)

Broadway shows:
(Full runs - The Wiz, Porgy and Bess (1976), Fiddler on the Roof (1981) & 1st Call Substitute: Shenandoah, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof (1976), Pacific Overtures, Annie, Beatlemania, Ok
lahoma, Peter Pan, Cats, Porgy & Bess (1983 Radio City Music Hall ), Hello Dolly, On Your Toes

Off Broadway Productions:
Carousel, Music Man, A Little Night Music, Sound of Music, Annie,
West Side Story, Secret Garden, Game of Love, Love Games, The Minister's Wife, Kinky Boots, John & Jen, Beauty & the Beast

International & Domestic Tours: (The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber - American Tour, Phantom of the Opera - American tour/solo cello, & Dame Shirley Bassey Orchestra [at Carnegie Hall, NJ State Arts Center, & South African tour

Ballet companies: Moiseyev, Martha Graham, Milwaukee, Chicago, London Ballet, Cirque Eloise de Montreal, New Jersey Ballet, as solo cellist with Senta Driver's Dance Company "Harry" in NY City, and in Illinois with the Chicago Festival Ballet, Butler Ballet, CU Ballet, & Peoria Ballet.

Pop Artist Orchestras (at Carnegie Hall, Westbury Music Fair, Winter Garden Theater, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Gardens, & more) throughout America, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, South Africa, Canada, and Antigua. Popular artists she performed with to date: Dame Shirley Bassey, Michael Crawford, The Spinners, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Anne Murray, Mel Torme, Johnny Mathis, Ben Vereen, Cleo Lane, Charles Aznavour, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Rodney Dangerfield, Michel Le Grand, George Shearing, Barbara Cooke, Marian McPartland, Michael Burgess, Mannheim Steamroller, & others 

Recorded for film, TV, & radio

In Illinois, she performs for or performed as Principal Cello for:
  • Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestra (8 seasons)

  • Sinfonia da Camera (founding cellist for seasons 1-3 (recorded works by Milhaud, Françaix, & Saint-Saëns)

  • Baroque Artists of CU (1996 - 99 as founder, sponsor, Executive Director, cello continuo soloist)

  • Opera Illinois Orchestra (& Orchestra personnel manager) for 17 seasons/45 productions (1988-2005)

  • Principal Cello & Chamber Music Coordinator for the Klassiches Musik Festival in Vienna & Eisenstadt,
    a (5 seasons)

  • WILL Radio Second Sunday Monthly Concert Series from the Krannert Art Museum - founding artistic advisor & performer, plus live broadcasts, and fund raisers on WILL Radio and TV (1988 - 2015)

  • Mills Breast Cancer Institute Weekly Music Series (5 seasons) as producer/cellist/fundraiser (2007-12)

  • Prairie Ensemble Chamber Orchestra - founding cellist in 1996, then Principal Cellist & Personnel/Operations Manager (Fall 2007-July 2014 when TPE performed their final concert).

  • Touring Artists - Ten Tenors, Flash Cadillac, Kinky Boots Tour, Moody Blues, Mannheim Steamroller (repeat engagements), Kenny Rogers, Moiseyev Ballet, Chicago Lyric Opera, Anne Murray, B. J. Thomas, Buddy Wachter,
    Lisa Vroman, Barbara Padilla, Time for 3, Broadway Performers, American Idol Finalists, and others

    IL Locations: Virginia Theater, Peoria Civic Center, Assembly Hall/State Farm Center, David Palmer Arena,
    Dick Van Dyke Auditorium, Five Points Washington Performing Arts Center

    Presently Barbara Hedlund performs as Principal Cello for the:
  • Champaign Urbana Symphony
  • Danville Symphony
  • Heartland Festival Orchestra (& Peoria Ballet Orchestra)
  • Sugar Creek Opera
  • Single engagements, multiple annual UI Campus events, &
    choral concerts in Central Illinois coordinated by her
    representative agency 1st Choice Music Services

Art by Jenny Chi

Opera Affiliations: A passionate supporter of opera, singers, and publisher of the Virtuoso Obbligato Aria Collection
for voice, cello, and piano, she performed with:

  • Philadelphia Grand Opera (section cellist)
Lyric Opera of Chicago downstate tour (Principal Cellist)
  • Lake George Opera (Principal Cellist)
  • Friends of French Opera at Carnegie Hall
  • Opera Illinois (Principal Cellist 1988-2005)
  • Illinois Opera Theater (Principal Cellist)
  • Opera Theater of St. Louis (Solo cellist)
  • Teatro Gratacielo at Lincoln Center
  • Sugar Creek Opera (Principal Cellist)

Recordings include:the Houston Grand Opera recording of Gershwin's Porgy & Bess for RCA which won Grammy and Tony Awards on Broadway and France's Grand Prix du Disque, albums for Sony EMI Limited, Sesame Street, Book of the Month Club, Arabesque Records, Sculpture Scope Videos, Amasong, Reign Records, Ocean's Edge Music, a Big Ten Network sound track, Love Games (new musical), and independent labels. 

Film credits: Associate Producer, Musical Supervisor, and on-camera cellist for the PBS/WILL-TV 2003 Emmy Winning Performance Documentary The Song & the Slogan (with five time Grammy winner/Metropolitan Opera Tenor Jerry Hadley and actor David Hartman), Associate Producer for two PBS/WILL-TV Documentaries The Music of World War II & Ten Sisters, sound tracks for Paramount Studio’s Star Trek IV, cellist for New York PBS TV specials with Mercer Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, & actor Robert Alda, A & E Television's Live by Request with Johnny Mathis, a PBS television Documentary with Flash Cadillac, and producer/cellist for the 2007 Roger Ebert Forgotten Film Festival performance of the sound track to Ms. Sadie Thompson with the Champaign Urbana Symphony.

As an educator, Barbara Hedlund has taught for: Wilkes College, Illinois Wesleyan University, University of Illinois School of Music, UI Summer Youth Music Program & OLLI Program, Illinois State University, Parkland College, Eureka College Strings Festivals, Conservatory of Central Illinois, Illinois Council of Orchestras String Symposiums, plus Unit 4 & District 116 schools. Her current teaching affiliations are: Cellobration Studios and youth orchestra coachings.

A fine arts administrator, she serves as a founding Urbana Public Arts & Culture Commissioner, founding director & CEO of 1st Choice Music Services Artist Representatives, founder/publisher/arranger for VCello Music Publications (works for solo cello, cello ensemble, and arias with cello obbligato), and founding personnel manager for the Heartland Festival Orchestra from 2009-present). She has served as board member, music librarian, and serves as personnel and library consultant to Central Illinois orchestras, and special event producer.

Orchestral Music Librarian positions held include the NJ Symphony, Lake George Opera, Klassische Musik Festival in Austria, CU Symphony, Peoria Civic Opera, Opera Illinois, Baroque Artists of Champaign Urbana, Sugar Creek Opera, and Heartland Festival Orchestra. 

Community Service
Barbara Hedlund has been an active volunteer for the Co-op Nursery School, PTA, as a Crossing Mother for 2.5 years, Public Radio & TV, Urbana Nursing Home, City of Urbana Public Arts & Culture Commission, and other community groups. 

Philanthropic Sponsorship 
Arcadia Chamber Players, Baroque Artists of CU, NW Symphony, Rollins College, UI College of Fine & Applied Arts/Library/School of Music,
WILL- TV & FM Radio, Parkland College Theatre Department, CU Symphony, Danville Symphony, Sugar Creek Opera, Heartland Festival Orchestra, food banks, police, libraries, churches, medical and numerous community charities.

Family: Married in 1974 to noted Bass-baritone Ronald Hedlund, their son Alexander, a former affiliate with numerous major Hollywood film companies, is presently the Business Manager of the Eat The Cat television and film production company in Hollywood, CA. Her stepson, aeronautical engineer Dr. Eric Hedlund, is the Chief of Testing & Evaluation for the US Navy's Ballistic Missile Defense Program.