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Michael Whalen - full biography

Michael Whalen is an accomplished two-time Emmy® Award Winning American composer, producer, and recording artist known for his extensive work in the field of contemporary instrumental and television music. Born on December 2, 1965, in New York City., Whalen has made significant contributions to the world of music with his emotive melodic compositions and versatile skills.

Whalen's musical journey began at an early age when he started playing the percussion at age 5. His passion for music led him to pursue formal education with the chief percussionist of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC Tommy Wardlow. For college, Whalen attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston studying composition and production/engineering. In 1987, he moved to New York City and embarked on a impressive career that has spanned more than three decades and encompassed many genres, including contemporary classical, electronic, ambient and new age.

Over the years, Michael Whalen has composed music for a wide range of projects, including dozens of film, hundreds of television, and thousands of advertising projects. His ability to create evocative and atmospheric soundscapes has made him a sought-after composer in the entertainment industry. Many people know Michael’s work as a “sound designer” more than his music as a composer. Whalen’s work often combines live classical instrumentation with state-of-the-art modern technology, resulting in a unique and captivating sonic experience.

In addition to his film and television work, Whalen has released 44 albums as a solo artist. His discography includes a diverse array of albums, each showcasing his distinctive musical voice. Some of his notable works include “My Secret Heart” (2005/UMG), “Cupid Blindfolded” (2019), “Nightscenes” (1996), “Sacred Spaces” (2020) and the new “Walk in Beauty, Like the Night” (2023).

Michael Whalen's contributions to the music industry go beyond composition. He has also been involved in music production and has collaborated with artists such as: Stephen Sondheim, Fiona Apple, Brian Wilson, Daniel Lanois, Carole King, David Foster and many, many others which has further solidifying his reputation as a multifaceted and accomplished musician. As well as his Emmy® wins, has eight Emmy nominations, 10 Clio awards, a BMI award and four Global Music Awards.

In 2023, Whalen released three recordings. In 2024, Whalen plans to do he same and shows no sign of slowing down on a dynamic and successful career. He lives in New York City, is married and has two grown children.

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