Robert Wendel

From Wind Repertory Project
Robert Wendel

Biography

Robert Wendel (b. 1951, Bridgeport, Conn.) is an American conductor and composer.

Robert Wendel studied conducting with Harold Farberman, Brian Priestman, and Michael Charry, and composition and orchestration with Leroy Anderson and Hale Smith. He has guest conducted many of the major symphony orchestras in America including the Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minnesota, Baltimore, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Dallas Symphony orchestras, and has toured the U.S. and Europe as conductor for Harry Connick Jr., culminating in the PBS special Romance From Paris and concert for the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.

In addition, Robert has been conductor and arranger for Carol Channing, Rita Moreno and other stars, and has written for musical theater, symphony orchestra, PBS-TV, the 1993 Presidential Inauguration and "Cirque de la Symphonie." He created and conducted an entire concert saluting the cartoon music of Hanna-Barbera Productions for the San Bernardino Symphony, and an evening of "Two Centuries of American Music" as the first conductor to take the podium of the New Britain Symphony after the retirement of Jerome Laszloffy.

His Fanfare For Freedom has already become a staple in the symphonic Memorial Day and July 4th repertory, and his arrangements are frequently heard at Cincinnati Pops Concerts and were featured on several of their TV broadcasts. Two of his Christmas arrangements have been recorded by the Cincinnati Pops with Erich Kunzel. Robert's Commemoration, performed at a memorial concert remembering the Challenger astronauts and played on the Kennedy Space Center launch pad has also been adopted as almost a memorial "anthem" in concerts across the USA after the events of 9-11-2001. It has been recorded by the Tasmanian Symphony, and was featured live coast-to-coast in the 2006 National Memorial Day Concert on PBS to dedicate the WW II Monument, again on the 2009 concert as part of a tribute to Abraham Lincoln. It was used again in 2011 as part of Gen. Colin Powell's welcoming home of our troops and it was featured on the 2017 concert to honor the Tuskeegee Airmen and all WWII veterans. It was used most recently in 2023 to honor the Viet Nam POW veterans.

As composer, arranger and publisher, he has supplied pop music to the top 400 orchestras in America, Europe, Canada, Southeast Asia, and Australia, and his work has been featured NBC's "Today" program, and in commercials for QVC and Wal-Mart. He was also called upon as editor, arranger, and orchestrator for numerous Leroy Anderson works, some being recorded for the first time, for the complete Leroy Anderson Centennial recordings conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

An alumnus of Fairfield Prep and The University of Connecticut, Robert now makes his home in New York City. In his spare time, he is a tornado chaser, an amateur astronomer, a telescope maker, and a pyrotechnics afficionado.


Works for Winds


Resources