Throughout a busy musical career that got underway in the early '50s, Dick Hyman has functioned as pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and composer. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in film scores, orchestral compositions, concert appearances and well over 100 albums recorded under his own name. While developing a masterful facility for improvisation in his own piano style, Mr. Hyman has also investigated ragtime and the earliest periods of jazz and has researched and recorded the piano music of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Zez Confrey, Eubie Blake and Fats Waller, which he often features in his frequent recitals. Other solo recordings include the music of Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Duke Ellington. Some of his recordings with combos are From The Age Of Swing, Swing Is Here, Cheek To Cheek, and If Bix Played Gershwin, plus numerous duet albums with Ruby Braff, Ralph Sutton and others. In a different vein, Mr. Hyman was one of the first to record on the Moog synthesizer, and his ?Minotaur? landed on the Billboard charts.
Mr. Hyman's concert compositions for orchestra include his Piano Concerto, Ragtime Fantasy, The Longest Blues in the World, and From Chama to Cumbres by Steam, a work for orchestra, jazz combo, and prerecorded railroad sounds. A cantata based on the autobiography of Mark Twain was premiered with the choral group, Gloria Musicae, in Sarasota. In a growing catalogue of chamber music compositions, his most recent pieces are Dances and Diversions for the Kinor String Quartet, and Parable for a Parrot, a trio for the Palisades Virtuosi. Earlier compositions include a violin/piano sonata, a quintet for piano and strings, and a sextet for clarinet, piano and strings. Mr. Hyman has been heard in duo-piano performances with Derek Smith, in Three-Piano Crossover with Marian McPartland and the late Ruth Laredo, and in pops concerts under the direction of Doc Severinsen. In 2004, after serving as artistic director for the acclaimed Jazz in July series at New York's 92nd Street Y for twenty years, he stepped down, as he has from a similar role in the annual Oregon Festival of American Music. He continues his Jazz Piano at the Y series in New York.