Martin Hennessy is a pianist and vocal coach in New York City. His studies at Georgetown University and at the Juilliard School with Samuel Sanders and Marshall Williamson have prepared him for rewarding collaborations with many leading singers. A keen interest in language and poetry, together with his exemplary accompaniments, continue to make him a highly prized recital partner. He has toured extensively through Europe, the United States and Asia with the Bel Canto Trio and the Ambassadors of Opera and he has served on the faculties of the Juilliard American Opera Center, Carlo Bergonzi’s Bel Canto Seminar and Joan Dornemann’s Opera Training Institute in North Carolina. In addition he has been musical director and pianist for numerous productions and master classes mounted by the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Education Program as well as serving as frequent accompanist for the Met's Young Artist’s Program. As a composer, Mr. Hennessy has received awards from ASCAP and Meet the Composer, and his musical EDGAR, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, was developed at Live Arts Theater in Charlottesville, VA, where it received its first run in the spring of 1998. Tomoko Shibata premiered his vocalise for soprano and cello, Silent Night, at Oji Hall in Tokyo in 1997 while a compact disc featuring seven of his songs paired with Ned Rorem’s cycle, Women’s Voices, was released on Newport Classic in 1998 (Women’s Voices, NPD 85613). This bears the fruit of a long-standing collaboration with Metropolitan
Opera soprano, Heidi Skok. He is also featured pianist on Newport’s The Songs of Amy Beach and William Mayer. Hennessy also enjoys a close collaboration with flutist, Don Hulbert, who premiered his Torch Song Sonata at the 1996 National Flute Association Convention in New York and Le Virus S’Amuse for solo flute at Dancers Responding to AIDS/The Remember Project ’99 at St. Marks in New York. Laura Glenn, director of White Mountain Dance Festival, choreographed his vocalise for soprano and cello especially for this event. He is currently working on a commission from countertenor, John Carden, to compose a setting of Edgar Lee Master’s Benjamin Fraser for male alto, harp, flute, cello and percussion. Mr. Hennessy has been openly HIV positive since 1992 when he began working with Positive Music, an organization of classical musicians furthering visibility and
awareness of AIDS that premiered many of his first compositions. He continues a creative-spiritual approach in living with HIV and organizes intensive three day retreats with therapists from London’s Helios Centre
in which participants explore the question, “Who am I?” He is also pursuing a degree in English at Columbia University’s School of General Studies and he is a member of the Dramatists Guild.