Podcast Ep. 11: ‘The Music of Queen’ with Conductor & Music Arranger Brent Havens

Podcast Ep. 11: ‘The Music of Queen’ with Conductor & Music Arranger Brent Havens

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Not that that needs any introduction, but that was a clip of Freddie Mercury’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ performed by Windborne Music under the direction of conductor Brent Havens with vocals by Brody Dolyniuk. It’s part of their ‘Music of Queen Classic Rock Symphony Show.’  So, by now, it’s probably obvious that on today’s episode, we are taking a little bit of a detour from our traditional conversations about the theater and talking about the music of Queen. And yet, it does seem fitting to use this theater podcast as a platform to talk about Freddie Mercury and Queen, because there is a tremendous theatricality to this music. “We break a lot of rules,” Freddie told Circus Magazine in 1977. “It’s unheard of to combine opera with a rock theme, my dear.” So, in advance of the ‘Music of Queen’ concert being presented by the North Carolina Symphony later this month, I decided to sit down with Windborne’s conductor and music arranger Brent Havens about the music, the legacy, and the distinctive sound that is Queen.

For more information the North Carolina Symphony Concert ‘The Music of Queen’ visit https://www.ncsymphony.org/events/192/the-music-of-queen/.

For information on the other symphonic rock programs mentioned in this episode, visit http://www.windbornemusic.com/index.php.

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About the Guest

Berklee-trained arranger/conductor Brent Havens has written music for orchestras, feature films and virtually every kind of television. His TV work includes movies for networks such as ABC, CBS and ABC Family Channel Network, commercials, sports music for networks such as ESPN and even cartoons. Havens has also worked with the Doobie Brothers and the Milwaukee Symphony, arranging and conducting the combined group for Harley Davidson’s 100th Anniversary Birthday Party Finale attended by over 150,000 fans. He has worked with some of the world’s greatest orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic and the BBC Concert Orchestra in London, the CBSO in Birmingham, England, the Malaysian Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Nashville Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic and countless others. Havens recently completed the score for the film “Quo Vadis,” a Premier Pictures remake of the 1956 gladiator film. In 2013 he worked with the Baltimore Symphony and the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens to arrange and produce the music for the Thanksgiving Day halftime show between the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, adapting both classical music and rock songs into a single four-minute show. Havens is Arranger/Guest Conductor for all the symphonic rock programs for Windborne Music.


This episode contains a clip of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ written by Freddie Mercury and performed and arranged by Windborne Music Productions, Brent Havens (Conductor/Arranger), Brody Dolyniuk (Vocals), Dan Clemens (Bass), Powell Randolph (Drums), George Cintron (Guitar), courtesy of EMI Blackwood Music Inc. OBO Queen Music LTD.

Special thanks to Kathie Russell of Russell and Associates for her assistance in putting together this episode.

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