Composer Lance Hulme has a multi-faceted career as keyboardist, conductor, arranger and educator. His music has been performed throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia and has garnered both critical and audience acclaim. Compact disk releases of his music include Flame Dance: The Music of Lance Hulme (Albany Records 998), Kindred Spirits (Bridge Records 9260), The Anthems for the New Century (WWCC-7414) and Orchestral Masters, vol.1 (Ablaze Records ar-00015).
Critics have described Hulme as a “chameleon composer” (Gilles Quental) whose musical oeuvre encompasses a “wide range” (Knowing the Score) of musical genres and styles. His music “cannot be pigeon-holed into one compositional school” (Die Badische Neueste Nachrichten) but rather draws upon the diverse elements of his musical experience to “weave a rich expressive texture.” (Die Rheinpfalz Zeitung) He “reflects the ambience and musical approach of the North American musical tradition. Compositional eclecticism, a conscience, playful and uninhibited attitude with tradition and the crossover between ‘serious’ and vernacular music. All these elements are to be found as well as the most advanced structural and aural techniques” (Die Rheinpfalz Zeitung).
Hulme’s music has won many awards including Grand Prize, International Witold Lutoslawski Composition Competition, 1st Prize, ASCAP/Rudolf Nissim Prize, Grand Prize, International Trumpet Guild Composition Competition and awards from the Composición Musical Cuitat de Tarragona, Citta di Trieste Orchestra Competition and the Ladislav Kubik Composition Competition. Notable performances and commissions include Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Southern German Radio, the State Theater of Baden, the State Orchestra of Magdeburg, West German Radio, the Karlsruhe University Chorus, the Raschèr Saxophone Orchestra, Quattro Mani, the Henschell Quartet and others. His compositions have been presented at ISCM, Warsaw Autumn and Aspen Summer festivals. He has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and was awarded a two-year Fulbright Grant to Austria.
Lance Hulme studied at the Yale University School of Music (DMA, MMA), the Eastman School of Music (MM) and the University of Minnesota (BM) and he also studied at the Universität für Musik in Vienna, Austria.
From the beginning, Lance Hulme pursued an eclectic musical career encompassing many different aspects of music-making. His first conducting appearance was the premiere of a piece written for his high school orchestra. Throughout his undergraduate study of classical composition, Lance Hulme played keyboards in various jazz and pop groups, wrote and directed musicals and stage music and transcribed and arranged music for other performers. An interim period followed where he was keyboardist for the jazz-fusion band Dreamscape and was associated with the then Minnesota Composers Forum. Following graduate study, he went to Vienna, Austria on a Fulbright Grant, staying in Europe for seventeen years (Hulme’s wife is mezzo-soprano Clara O’Brien). During that time, he co-founded and directed Ensemble Surprise, an eclectic chamber ensemble which featured “700 years of new music”, of which he was the “Rector Spiritus who knows exactly what to do with such an ensemble”. (Die Rheinpfalz) He also worked as a freelance musician, arranger and transcriber for a wide variety of ensembles and individuals and taught at various institutions. As pianist, he has been described as “a carefully prepared virtuoso”. (Die Badische Neueste Nachrichten)
In 2003, an offer to teach brought Dr. Hulme back to the U.S. and he is currently professor at North Carolina Central University where he directs the music theory, aural skills and composition program. He also on the faculty for the NCCU FabLab and assists in the music industry, applied voice and piano programs. His theory and aural skills curriculum, “Basic Training in Music Skills“, is available through his publishing company, In Pegno Music (see Education). His latest project is a new concert series, À la carte, which presents music from a wide variety of genres, styles and epochs.
Hulme’s interests also include music technology, both as composer and educator. He was teaching assistant in the Center for Studies in Music Technology (CSMT) at Yale University and a long-time guest artist at the Center for Art and Technology (ZKM). His compositions using computers have been presented in many venues including interactive collaborations with choreographers and visual artists. Most recently, he has worked extensively with dance real-time installations at the Modern Repertory Dance Theater. His educational software uses technology to achieve remarkable results in aural skills and music fundamentals. He is also a sound engineer and has produced many recordings including his own compact disk release with Albany Records.