Growing up in a banking family in Louisville, KY, Bob started to play the piano and compose at age four with the gift of perfect pitch. He went on to win numerous national talent competitions including the Coca-Cola Talent Contest, and was accepted for private study by the University of Louisville School of Music at age twelve. After earning a BA in business from Centre College and completing graduate music studies at the University of North Texas (classical and jazz), he studied composition with Hall Overton at the Julliard School of Music. He also received a Downbeat Magazine award scholarship to Berklee School of Music in Boston.
After juggling dual careers in music and banking for many years, Hardwick left behind Citibank and the US Trust Company in 1990 to focus entirely on music. “The Bob Hardwick Sound” is one of the leading dance orchestras in the country, with engagements throughout the U.S., in addition to England, France, Italy, Ireland, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. With Bob’s dazzling piano artistry, the orchestra’s irresistible beat, and a repertoire that delights all ages, Hardwick’s music makes every party a success, including Presidential Inaugural Balls, private parties, benefit galas, corporate events, debutante balls, and weddings of all sizes. Town & Country Magazine has designated the orchestra as the “Best of the Best” and one of the top three dance orchestras in the U.S. Quest magazine raved, “… a band so good you can’t sit down, even if you have two left feet.”
Hardwick was the subject of feature articles in People and Fortune magazines, and The New York Sun, highlighting his successful orchestra and recording career, and was profiled on the Fine Living TV Network and on Bloomberg Radio.
Six CD albums have been released by Good Music Record Company and Cat’s Paw Records that display Bob’s varying musical styles, including traditional two-step dance music, swing, pop/rock hits, Latin, and symphony pops favorites.
Hardwick performs often with his own Big Apple Pops Symphony Orchestra at various venues including Old Westbury Gardens, the Pappis Pavilion, Norwalk Concert Hall, and with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra, all of which have featured his own compositions.
Bob, who is a past composer member of the renowned BMI Broadway Theatre Workshop, wrote and performed two original theme scores for two recent television series, “The Home Front” and “Hunters in the Sky,” which were featured on PBS and the Discovery Channel, and his pop songs with Bob Crewe are featured on the Elektra label. He continually works on recording projects with well-known artists and producers in the contemporary pop field, including such names as Paul McCartney, Kenny Loggins, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, Little Richard, Barry Manilow, Maroon 5, Roberta Flack, Pavarotti, and David Foster.
Hardwick has played for five Presidential Inaugural Balls and eight U.S. Presidents, and most recently played at former President Barack Obama’s prestigious Illinois Presidential Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C. He has also played at numerous private events for President Trump.
Among the places Bob’s critically acclaimed cabaret act has appeared are London at the Ritz, Paris at The Cercle de l’Union Interalliee, Moscow at the International Casino, New York at The Plaza, Waldorf, St. Regis and Regent, Los Angeles at The Beverly Wilshire, San Francisco at The Fairmont, Palm Beach at the Kravis Center and Society for the Four Arts, and in East Hampton at the John Drew Theater.
In addition to his busy and musically diverse schedule with The Bob Hardwick Sound, Big Apple Pops, recording projects, and cabaret act, The Bob Hardwick Sound Sensation is Bob’s pop/rock dance and recording group specifically tailored to provide a full range of contemporary pop and rock ‘n’ roll from the 60’s right through today’s hits.
Consistently one of the top dance orchestras in the country, BHS plays an irresistible dance beat of big band, swing, rock, pop and soul that caters to every generation.