Dr David Russell Hulme
Director of Music and Reader
BA (Hons), MA, PhD, PGCE, FRSA
Phone: 01970 622744
David Russell Hulme’s busy conducting career has taken him to major venues throughout Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada, with appearances as far-flung as the Royal Canada Opera, Christchurch Festival (New Zealand) and the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival at Buxton, where he conducted a rare professional revival of Princess Ida and a hit production of another rarity, The Arcadians. He has worked regularly with the renowned Carl Rosa Opera Company, the world’s foremost English-language operetta company, and in 2001 toured Australia and New Zealand, conducting the State Orchestra of Victoria, the Auckland Philharmonia and the Sydney Opera House Orchestra, followed by tours of the United States and Canada in 2004 and 2006.
A native of Machynlleth, David studied music at UCW Aberystwyth under Ian Parrott, and conducting with the legendary Sir Adrian Boult. Gaining MA and PhD degrees for his research into British music, he has published extensively, including articles for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the BBC Proms. Described in Opera as ‘our leading authority on Sullivan’s manuscripts’, he has been closely involved in productions by major opera companies including Welsh National Opera, English National Opera, New Sadler’s Wells and D’Oyly Carte. He edited Sullivan’s music and was an adviser for Mike Leigh’s Oscar-winning film Topsy-Turvy. David edited the rediscovered String Quartet by Arthur Sullivan and his ground-breaking, critically-acclaimed edition of Ruddigore, published by Oxford University Press, was recently staged by Opera North. He was consultant editor for OUP’s new edition of The Yeomen of the Guard. Other editing for OUP ranges from Haydn’s Paukenmesse to Walton’s Second Symphony.
David frequently performs British repertoire, attracting much attention and praise for programming neglected works, bringing alive his scholarly interests through performance – as with The Anglo-Welsh composer Edward German. An authority on German’s music, he also regularly conducts it at events such as Shropshire’s Edward German Music Festivals. He gave the first twentieth-century performance of German's forgotten First Symphony with the Priory Chamber Orchestra, which he founded and directed in Hertfordshire. More recently he conducted the composer’s light opera Tom Jones with a cast of international soloists for Naxos Records. Reaching No. 3 in the classical charts, it was twice chosen as a Recording of the Year, attracting outstanding critical praise.
David's reconstructions and orchestrations are performed and recorded by major opera companies and orchestras. Recently his work was featured on Friday Night is Music Night and in 2015 the Barbican hosted the BBC Symphony Orchestra's premiere of his orchestration of a film score by Neil Brand, whose music he has also conducted. Subsequently he undertook other orchestral and choral arranging for the composer (an alumnus and fellow of Aberystwyth University), including The People's Guide to the Orchestra, premiered at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2017.
In 2012 he received the Glyndŵr Award from the Tabernacl Trust for his ‘outstanding contribution to the arts in Wales’. A Reader at Aberystwyth University, Dr Hulme returned as the University’s first Director of Music in 1992 and is well-known locally as conductor of Aberystwyth Choral Society and The University Singers as well as Philomusica and the professional Sinfonia Cambrensis. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Vice-President of the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society.