IRA HEARSHEN (b 1948 )
Hearshen moved to Los Angeles in 1972 and started playing trumpet on casuals and the Latino club scene. He started studying commercial and film music at the Grove School with teachers such as Kim Richmond, Allyn Ferguson, Dick Grove, and Albert Harris. It was through studying orchestration privately with Harris that Hearshen got his first opportunity for TV/film work. In 1983 Harris recommended Ira to composer Joe Harnell who needed orchestration help on two concurrent series he had going; Cliffhangers and The Incredible Hulk. It was this experience that began Hearshen’s career as a film music arranger/orchestrator.
He has steadily worked since as an arranger/orchestrator in motion pictures, TV, and recordings, for such composers as Randy Newman, Lalo Schifrin, John Debney, Stanley Clarke, Lee Holdridge and others. His most recent credits include all of the rhythm section arrangements of orchestral film cues in the upcoming release Undercover Brother, many cues including the final action sequence in The Scorpion King, and the complete orchestral scores for both Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2, as well as orchestrations on A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2, which included the Sinatra-style arrangement of the movie’s theme You’ve Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman, sung by Robert Goulet. He was also coorchestrator on Monsters Inc. and was the arranger for both the rhythm section and the orchestra on If I Didn’t Have You, which won Randy Newman the Oscar for best song at the 2001 Motion Picture Academy Awards. Most recently, he has arranged the strings for composer/bassist Stanley Clarke’s forthcoming album.
Hearshen’s works for the concert stage include the original compositions Symphony on Themes of John Philip Sousa, a 45-minute four-movement Symphony nominated for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in music, Divertimento for Band, a Patriotic Overture and Fantasia on the Army Blue commissioned by the US Army Field Band to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the West Point Military Academy.
It is Hearshen’s sincere belief that not only is the art of music arranging not ‘dead’ as some would have us believe, but is more alive than ever, as it is changing with the times in the new world of electronics, world music, computers, the internet and multimedia entertainment.
© 2013 Naxos Rights US, Inc. — Lowell E. Graham (HEARSHEN Symphony on Themes by John Philip Sousa, Divertimento for Band, Naxos 8.573041)