"What we experienced Jan. 21 was in a class of its own, and conductor, arranger, pianist, performer, and designer Steve Hackman owned it." NUVO Newsweekly
"Blending [Bach and Bon Iver] with such fluidity that you couldn't tell where one left off and the other began... and, more importantly, you wouldn't want to try." Philadelphia Inquirer
"His conducting is clear and efficient, and the performances he elicited of Brahms and Beethoven from CMF's excellent orchestra were eloquent." Boulder Camera
Conductor, composer, arranger, producer, pianist and singer/songwriter Steve Hackman is increasingly in demand as one the most compelling artists contributing to a new landscape in classical music. Fluent in both classical and popular repertoire, he crafts virtuosic, cross-genre works and performances that intrigue the established audience and engage an excited new one.
In 2014 Hackman assumes the position of Music Director of the ‘Mash-Up’ series at the Colorado Music Festival, after successful performances last season of his ‘Brahms v. Radiohead’- a work that synthesizes and interweaves the Radiohead album OK Computer with the Brahms 1st Symphony. July 2014 at CMF will see the premier of his new creation, ‘Beethoven v. Coldplay’, an Eroica oratorio-fantasy using the themes of Coldplay. The season will also include collaborations with My Brightest Diamond, Olga Bell (of the Dirty Projectors), Aoife O'Donovan and the indie ensemble San Fermin.
From 2009-2013, Hackman served as co-creative director of the Happy Hour series with the Indianapolis Symphony, where he pioneered a new type of concert experience by producing, arranging/composing and conducting compelling presentations that blended classical with pop. He now brings these programs to orchestras across the country as a guest conductor.
Steve’s work as a composer and arranger has met with considerable success. The string trio ‘Time for Three’ and choral ensemble ‘Chanticleer’ present his works as their showpieces; TF3’s Chaconne in Winter will highlight their upcoming major label release on Universal Records, and Chanticleer’s Wait Fantasy can be heard on their recent album ‘Someone New’. Hackman’s orchestrations for artists like Time for Three, The Five Browns, Michael Cavanaugh, My Brightest Diamond, Arlo Guthrie, and Joshua Radin have been performed by nearly all the major orchestras in America.
In 2014 Hackman released his original musical project :STEREO HIDEOUT:, which sees him as producer, composer, conductor, singer, and rapper. The debut album The Radio Nouveau was mixed in London with Gareth Jones (Grizzly Bear, Depeche Mode) and mastered in Brooklyn with Joe Lambert (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors).
Hackman was a four-year member, producer, and musical director of the a capella group ‘The Other Guys’ at the University of Illinois, a group that under his direction placed runner-up in the International Competition of Collegiate Acapella at Avery Fisher Hall. He is a prolific songwriter, having written hundreds of songs and releasing several albums of original music. His song ‘The Pendulum Song’ was chosen among tens of thousands as a finalist in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Competition, and he has also received honorable mention in the Billboard songwriting competition. He has entertained as a dueling piano player at Howl At The Moon piano bar in Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville. In season 7 of American Idol, Hackman was one of 164 contestants chosen from over 150,000 to attend ‘Hollywood Week’. He finished in the top 64.
Hackman studied conducting under Otto-Werner Mueller and counterpoint/composition under Dr. Ford Lallerstedt at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He subsequently studied conducting with David Zinman at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and received further instruction in orchestration from the prolific Broadway orchestrator and composer William Brohn (Miss Saigon, Wicked, Ragtime, and countless others). He served as the Assistant Conductor of the Reading Symphony for two seasons, where he led subscription, family, education, and New Year’s Eve programs.