Barbara Hedlund Profile

1st Choice - Shared Grammy, Tony, & Emmy Winner

Multi-Award Winning Cellist & Educator
● Orchestral Personnel Manager & Operations Coordinator
● Artist Representative
● Music Editor & Publisher
● City of Urbana Public Arts Commissioner 
● YouTube Channel

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Short bio for Barbara Hedlund

Broadway veteran, recipient of shared Emmy, Tony, Grammy, Gran Prix du Disque, and multiple awards, Barbara Hedlund enjoys an active career as orchestral & chamber musician, solo and recording artist, orchestral and college administrator, music editor and publisher, orchestra founder/manager/librarian, university professor, competition adjudicator, associate producer for Public Radio & TV, concert producer, a founding Urbana Public Arts Commissioner, plus 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, and Parkland College, Barbara Hedlund teaches privately and for the Eureka College Summer Strings Festivals, plus coordinates and performs Champaign Urbana Symphony In-School performances throughout the region annually. Her publication company, VCello Music, publishes music for solo cello, cello ensembles, and arias with voice, cello obbligato solos, and keyboard. 

Prior to moving to Illinois, 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, and 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 2017 appearances include solo cellist in the musical John & Jen at the Parkland College Black Box Theater, six chamber music performances in Los Angeles & Irvine, CA, Champaign, Peoria, and Savoy, IL, plus recorded the sound track for a 2017 independent film “The Blacksmith”. 

Additional Professional Biographical Information
Who's Who Listings: Marquis Directories of 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's 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 An Emmy for Best Music and four nominations for the WILL-TV Performance Documentary The Song and The Slogan; a shared Grammy, Tony and France's Grand Prix du Disque Awards for RCA's Porgy & Bess album and Broadway productions of Porgy & Bess & The Wiz,
a shared Crystal Award of Excellence from the International Communicator Awards Committee for a WILL-FM live chamber music broadcast,
a Woman of Distinction Award presented by the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois Council, State of Illinois Senate & House of Representatives Recognition, finalist for the Lifetime Achievement Ace Award 40 North ACE Awards celebrating accumulated successes of an individual for continued, outstanding support of the arts and extraordinary contributions  to the cultural life of Champaign County, an Illinois Council of Orchestras awards for Chamber Ensemble of the Year as BACH founder/administrator & Meritorious Service Award, a shared Illinois Council of Orchestras Heartland Festival Orchestra Award for Orchestra of the Year, an Illinois Governor's Arts Award nominee as Individual Artist & for 
Special Recognition, Chicago's NW Symphony Special Recognition for establishing the Paul Vermel Young Artist Scholarship, and "Cellist of the
Week" by the Cello Heaven web site. 

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:

  • Symphonies: New York Philharmonic (regular substitute for 3 seasons), New Jersey Symphony (Principal Cellist 5 years), Westfield Symphony and Quartet (2 years 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, Oklahoma, Peter Pan, Cats, Porgy & Bess (1983 Radio City Music Hall production), Hello Dolly, On Your Toes
  • Off Broadway Theatre Productions: Carousel, Music Man, A Little Night Music, Sound of Music, Annie, Secret Garden, Game of Love, Love Games, The Minister's Wife, Kinky Boots Tour (2015 ), John & Jen (2017)  
  • International & Domestic Tours: (The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber - American Tour, Phantom of the Opera - American tour/solo cello (Winter 1998-Spring 1999), & Shirley Bassey Orchestra [at Carnegie Hall, NJ State Arts Center, & South African tour (1978-93)].
  • 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 with the Chicago Festival Ballet, Butler Ballet, & Peoria Ballet in Illinois.)
  • Pop Artist Back Up 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 has performed with in New York: 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, & others 
  • Recorded for film, TV, & radio
In Illinois, she performs or performed as Principal Cello for:
  • Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestra (8 seasons)
  • Sinfonia da Camera (founding cellist for seasons 1-3 (where she recorded works by Milhaud, Françaix, & Saint-Saëns)
  • Baroque Artists of CU (1996 - 99 as founder, sponsor, administrator, continuo cello 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, Austria (5 seasons)
  • WILL Radio Second Sunday Monthly Concert Series from the Krannert Art Museum - founding artistic adviser & 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 (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 many others
    Locations: Virginia Theater, Peoria Civic Center, Assembly Hall/State Farm Center, David Palmer Arena, Dick Van Dyke Auditorium, Five Points Washington Performing Arts Center

Currently Barbara Hedlund performs as Principal Cello for the:

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 (section cellist)
  • Opera Illinois (Principal Cellist 1988-2005)
  • Illinois Opera Theater (Principal Cellist)
  • Opera Theater of St. Louis (Solo cellist)
  • Teatro Gratacielo at Lincoln Center (section 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 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, Conservatory of Central Illinois, Illinois Council of Orchestras String Symposiums, plus Unit 4 & District 116 schools. Her current teaching affiliations are: Eureka College Strings Festivals, Cellobration Studios, and youth orchestra coachings.

A fine arts administrator, she serves as a founding Urbana Public Arts Commissioner, founding director & CEO of 1st Choice Music Services Artist Management, 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. She has served as board member, music librarian, and serves as personnel consultant to Central Illinois orchestras, and special event producer.

Orchestral Music Librarian positions held include the NJ Symphony, Lake George Opera, Klassische Musik Festival, CU Symphony, 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 Commission, and other community groups. 

Philanthropic Sponsorships 
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 community charities.

Family: Married in 1974 to noted Bass-baritone Ronald Hedlund, their son Alexander is the Director of Development and Creative Projects for Archie Comics 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.