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American composer Sean Hickey talks to TED KENDALL


The name Sean Hickey may already be a familiar one within contemporary music circles, but the young composer's level of renown is about to rise to new heights. Hickey's début disc with the prestigious Naxos label, 'Left at the Fork in the Road', is set for release on 15 November 2005, and will feature an assortment of the composer's chamber music works, as performed by several prominent players who have championed his music in the past. The exciting up-and-comer took time out last week to grant me a lunch interview at New York's Café Rhonda, and shared some fascinating insights to the life, labors, successes and adversities of a young composer on the rise.

Hickey enters the quaint cafe and takes a seat with me at a table in the far corner, while plugging away at the bite-sized buttons of his small blackberry wireless email device. He orders a coca-cola (citing, in jest, a sudden craving for pure sugar and wholesome caffeine), answers a few phone calls, and continues to fidget with his little gadget. I sit across from him preparing my notes, rather amused at his display of unabashed fondness for technology. Alas, I finally cave in as I whip out my own blackberry and fire off a few emails, before settling down into 'interrogation' mode.

Sean Hickey. Photo © Karen Wise
Sean Hickey. Photo © Karen Wise

Even upon first impression, Hickey seems highly intelligent; an approachable individual, possessed of good social graces, a wry sense of humor, and a gentle temperament. The egocentricity often associated with the term 'artiste' is curiously absent here, and, if anything, Hickey tends to lean towards a more modest, even slightly self-effacing disposition when prompted to discuss his own accomplishments. He does, however, speak freely about his blessed personal life -- his marriage to the beautiful actress, Catherine Jhung, and his newly-minted status as the proud father of a healthy baby boy named Shannon.

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Copyright © 6 November 2005 Ted Kendall, New York, USA


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