Since 2010, Hajdu has been increasingly active as a songwriter and librettist for concert music. An album of songs with his lyrics, Waiting for the Angel, was released in August 2015 for Miranda Music. It has 11 songs with music composed by Renee Rosnes, Fred Hersch, Jill Sobule, and Michael Leonard. The album features the singers Jo Lawry, Karen Oberlin, and Michael Winther, the pianists Renee Rosnes, Fred Hersch, and Tedd Firth, and other musicians. (A digital-only release on iTunes includes a bonus track with music by Renee Rosnes.) A concert of the music was organized for performance at the Rockwood Music Hall.
As a lyricist, Hajdu has collaborated with several of the composers he most admires: Mickey Leonard, with whom he has written the songs "Lullaby for Nathan Charles" and "He Used to Be Me"; Renee Rosnes, with whom he has written several songs -- "Who Do You Belong to?," "Weren't We in Love," and "Your Project" -- as well as an extended work of choral music, "Still," dedicated to the composer Richard Rodney Bennett; Fred Hersch, with whom he has written the songs "Do You Think This Happens Every Day?" and "Good Things Happen Slowly"; Jill Sobule, with whom he has written several songs, including "Bad Idea" and "Nothing."
Hajdu co-conceived and helped develop Sobule’s song cycle Dottie's Charms, which includes lyrics by Jonathan Lethem, Luc Sante, Mary Jo Salter, Sam Lipsyte, Rick Moody, and others. The project was released on vinyl LP in April, 2014, and presented on the website for Harper's Magazine. The Harper's presentation includes illustrations by the artist Molly Crabapple and several short films inspired by the songs. In addition to helping to develop the project, Hajdu co-wrote two of the songs on Dottie's Charms: "I Swear I Saw Christopher Reeve" and "Women of Industry."
Songs with lyrics by Hajdu have been performed (and/or recorded) by the singers Jill Sobule, Mary Foster Conklin, Kate McGarry, Colleen McHugh, Tanya Moberly, and Marissa Mulder, as well as Hajdu's own favorite vocalist, Karen Oberlin.
Hajdu is currently working on the libretto for a chamber opera based on the life of Orson Welles.
|Song by Hajdu and Fred Hersch, “The Christmas Tree,” on new album “A New York Holiday.”|
|New song by Hajdu and Renee Rosnes, “Ice on the Hudson,” opens acclaimed show by Stacy Sullivan and Todd Murray at 54 Below.|
|Boston Conservatory Choral Ensemble records ‘Still,’ concert piece by Hajdu and Renee Rosnes.|
|‘Waiting for the Angel: Songs with Words by David Hajdu’|
|'Two songs with Hajdu lyrics in new show by Stacy Sullivan|
|'Sometimes a Bad Birthday Gift Has Its Uses' (New York Times)|
|Tanya Moberly show, "I Love New York Songwriters," wins Bistro Award, is finalist for Mac Award. Features Hajdu-Sobule song, "Bad Idea."|
|"The Christmas Tree"||Various artists, A New York Holiday (2016)|
|"Lullaby for Nathan Charles"||Marissa Mulder, Illusions (2012)|
|"Do You Think This Happens Every Day"||Karen Oberlin and Sean Harkness, A Wish (2014)|
|"I Swear I Saw Christopher Reeve"||Jill Sobule, Dottie's Charms (2014)|
|"Women of Industry"||Jill Sobule, Dottie's Charms (2014)|