Chris Walden, a German composer and arranger left the following message on his “Wall.”
“Chris Walden composer-arranger Clay Aiken’s album “Tried and True” with lots of big band and strings arranged and conducted by yours truly will be out June 1st.”
Although most of Clay’s fans were aware that June 1st was the targeted drop date, many were excited to see confirmation from Walden. However, we also know that no drop date is a done-deal in the fluid music recording field.
Decca Records seems to be surrounding Clay Aiken with the best of the best. Chris Walden has an amazing history in the music business.
Chris Walden was born on October 10th, 1966 in Hamburg, Germany. His mother was a talented soprano from Switzerland. Chris was surrounded by music at an early age through the many musicians who came to his parent’s home. At the age of 3, Chris started to play the recorder, and at age 5, he knew how to read music before he even learned the alphabet. Chris learned to play the piano at age 7 and the trumpet at age 13. In his high school years, Chris discovered jazz and big band music while playing trumpet in local school bands. Very soon, he started to write arrangements for those bands.
After graduating from high school, Chris was chosen to join the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra with which he toured for five years. The leader, Peter Herbolzheimer, encouraged Chris to write arrangements for the band and soon he assisted him with arrangements for many radio and record productions.
After receiving two master’s degrees in music, Walden conducted the RIAS Big Band in Berlin and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band. He served as musical director for the televised German Movie Award Show for four years and began composing for films and scored about 20 German films and wrote 400 arrangements for big band and symphony orchestra before immigrating to Los Angeles at the age of 29.
His move to the states proved to be an important step in his musical career as he has become an essential artist and composer in many prestigious productions. Chris has been nominated for four Grammys.
Some of Walden’s recent projects include
- People’s Choice Awards Opening with Queen Latifah
- Super Bowl XLIII National Anthem for Jennifer Hudson
- David Foster and Friends, PBS special and DVD
- Katie Holmes on So You Think You Can Dance
- VH1 Divas Live
- CNN’s “Heroes” with Christina Aguilera
- Arranged music for Russell Watson and Myleene Klass
According to the bio on his website:
Chris Walden has scored more than 40 feature and TV films, and written arrangements for artists including Christina Aguilera, Michael Bolton, Faith Hill, Aretha Franklin, David Foster, Paul Anka, Sheryl Crow, Christopher Cross, and orchestras like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Philharmonic, Boston Pops, and many more. He has orchestrated for Barbra Streisand, Diana Krall, and Natalie Cole.
Since 1999, Chris has been leading his own big band which includes the top studio musicians based in Los Angeles. He has recorded four albums with the Chris Walden Big Band on Origin Records.
Asked if he misses his life in Germany, Chris said:
“There are a lot things that I like about the American life-style, but there are also many things that I miss from Germany. I can’t possibly list all the things that come to my mind, but I’ve always liked the openness and tolerance of people in the US. I’ve always had a problem with the sometimes narrow-minded mentality of Germans. On the other hand I’ve been annoyed with the sometimes short attention span and superficialness of Americans and I value the deep friendship I have with some of my old German friends.”
It sounds like Clay Aiken was fortunate to work with Chris Walden. He is a wonderful composer and arranger who seems to be able to find the strengths of each of his artists and brings that strength to the forefront. Clay’s new album is going to be wonderful!