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biography

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Dr. Edward W. Hardy (born January 12, 1992) is a critically acclaimed Black and Puerto Rican composer, music director, virtuoso violinist, and violist, and is one of the foremost exponents of solo violin repertoire for theatrical productions. At the age of 25, "Hardy [was] one of the youngest composers to ever be accepted into the Exploring the Metropolis Con Edison Composer Residency and one of the most prominent composer/ violinists in New York City" (BroadwayWorld). “Edward W. Hardy, who composed the omnipresent music, plays the violin superbly” (The New York Times). He has “Vigor, Control And Expressiveness," (The Post and Courier), is “Mesmerizing” (Manhattan With A Twist), and also performs in a style that is serene, dreamy, and soulful with velvety panache (The Millbrook Independent). As the composer, music director and violinist of the smash hit Off-Broadway show The Woodsman, Hardy’s show was a recipient of the 2016 Obie Award, the 2014 Jim Henson Foundation Grant and was broadcast on PBS stations four separate times, streamed on BroadwayHD and major music producer Jim McElwaine produced Hardy’s album The Woodsman (Original Off-Broadway Solo Recording) which continues to be sold and streamed in countries such as the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey, France, Hong Kong, Argentina, Ireland, and  Germany.

Currently, Hardy's discography contains 8 singles, 1 album, and his list of original compositions include works for solo violin, voice, harp, piano, string quartet, string trio, string duo, Latin ensemble, and soundtracks for film and stage. He has research in non-traditional string techniques and beyond his history of premiering contemporary works, his dissertation, "A Compendium of Three Musical Works Inspired by the African American Experience: Recordings, Commentary, and Pedagogical Observations" is scheduled to be published in May 2024. Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts commissioned Hardy's song cycle, BORN FREE (Sorrow Home, Lineage, The Struggle Staggers Us, and Southern Song) and premiered the work as part of their 2022 UNTRAPPED series with soprano Tiffany Townsend and pianist Alex Munger. Also in 2022, Hardy's Latin piece Flying - Dancing in Spanish Harlem was performed by Jazz legend Andre Hayward and his band, along with Hardy, at the Austin Chamber Music Festival. In 2023, Hardy completed a United States tour with the Griot String Quartet in Damien Sneed's Our Song, Our Story, which is an evening of operatic arias, art songs and spirituals featuring Justin Austin, Jacqueline Echols, Raehann Bryce-Davis, Janinah Burnett, Amanda Lynn Bottoms and Raven McMillon, accompanied by Sneed on piano. This tour concluded with a recording of Sneed’s second full project for Apple Music in London. Also in 2023, Hardy had the honor of closing the 2022-2023 Capitol Hill Concert series with a sold-out, solo violin, multi-genre, season finale concert at the First Unitarian Society of Denver, accompanied by pianist Jordan Ortman and soprano Courtney Caston in the Colorado premiere of Hardy's BORN FREE song cycle. This concert set a new record at Capitol Hill Concerts for the most donations raised for a nonprofit (El Sistema Colorado) in the history of its concert series. Later that year, Hardy performed a 30-minute multi-genre solo violin program for 5000 people at the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s “Young, Gifted, And Black” concert as part of Bryant Park's Picnic Performances.

Dr. Edward W. Hardy has received numerous awards, most recently winning 1st Prize in the 2022 University of Northern Colorado Concerto Competition, 2nd Prize in the 2022 Angie Southard Performance Competition, 3rd Prize with his song cycle BORN FREE in the same competition in 2024, and a DownBeat 2024 Award for the Graduate College Outstanding Performance in the Blues/Pop/Rock Soloist category, and a Merit Award from Tribeca New Music for his solo violin composition, Evolution - Inspired by the Evolution of Black Music. Hardy also has an extensive performance history ranging from solo violin performances for the Congressional Black Caucus/ opening of the African-American Smithsonian Museum, Hublot, MAC Cosmetics, Haute Living, special performances for rap legends 50 Cent, Nas, Justin Bieber, Hailey Bieber, Usher, Russell Westbrook, Kehlani, and legendary hockey player Alexander Ovechkin, to sharing the stage with other famous artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, D-Nice, Salt-N-Pepa, Bunb B, Baby Cham, Scarface, 702, Mike Phillips, Lloyd, Israel Houghton, Kenny Burns, Kygo, André De Shields, Brandie Sutton, Regina Carter, Bryan Carter, Norm Lewis, Joshua Bell, John Blake Jr., Mark O'Connor, Radmila Lolly, Graham Reynolds, the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, Jeffrey Zeigler, Sandbox Percussion, the Attacca Quartet, Tamar-kali, and Dr. Ashley Jackson. Performance venues include Carnegie Hall, The John F. Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Sheldon Concert Hall, WQXR, The Greene Space, The Apollo Theater, Wheeler Opera House, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, Charleston Museum, The Cutting Room, The Public Theater's Joe's Pub, Amanyara, New York City Center, Bryant Park, and many others.

Dr. Hardy is a proud member of the American Composers Orchestra, the Harlem Chamber Players, Local 802 Musicians Union, the Dramatist Guild of America, ASCAP, and is affiliated with the Classical Theatre of Harlem, the Sphinx Organization, Exploring the Metropolis, the Gateways Music Festival, Carnegie Hall/ Weill Music Institute, and the Colorado American Strings Teachers Association. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Omnipresent Music Festival - BIPOC Musicians Festival, the co-founder/past senior director of operations of the Northern Colorado Center for Arts Entrepreneurship, and the previous digital marketing director and artistic advisor of the Beethoven in the Rockies Concert Series. Over the past decade, Hardy held violin teaching/ performing residencies and, as a visiting artist, gave masterclasses and lectures at numerous music programs and universities spanning New York City to Los Angeles, California. Hardy holds a Bachelor’s degree in viola performance from SUNY Purchase College where he studied with Ira Weller and Danielle Farina, a Master’s degree in violin performance from Aaron Copland School of Music - Queens College where his teacher was Daniel Phillips, and a Doctor of Arts degree in violin performance from the University of Northern Colorado under the mentorship of Dr. Jubal Fulks.

Hardy owns and performs on "The Black Violin", made by Guy Rabut in 1995. He also frequently plays on Craig Danner's violins named "Eddie" and "Cecilia," both crafted in 2022.

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