Conductor & Creator

Steve Hackman is a daring voice among a new generation of classical musicians intent on redefining the genre. Equally adept in classical and popular forms, he is at once a composer, conductor, producer, DJ, arranger, songwriter, singer, pianist, and rapper, creating hybrid compositions that blur the lines between high and pop art.

His unique style of musical metamorphosis sees modern musical techniques applied to the classical repertory and vice versa, resulting in evocative hybrid works that are both derivative yet wholly original. He synthesizes Brahms and Radiohead, Bartók and Björk, and Tchaikovsky and Drake into epic orchestral tone poems; re-imagines Stravinsky and Shostakovich into original orchestral-electronic concept albums; samples Verdi and Debussy and interpolates them into hip-hop tracks; and writes songs with hidden melodies of Beethoven embedded. 

2018 saw the debut concert of STEREO HIDEOUT: BROOKLYN at the Kings Theatre. Featuring a hand-picked ensemble of young classical musicians in New York City, their concerts will continue to feature Mr. Hackman’s hybrid and original works and guest artists while also showcasing projects of the orchestra members. His newest creation, West Side X West Side is an orchestral/hip-hop synthesis of Bernstein’s West Side Story and the music of West Coast rappers Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Ice Cube, Warren G, Kendrick Lamar, and more. Mr. Hackman’s recent and upcoming engagements include debuts with the Colorado Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic, and return engagements in Seattle, Oregon, Nashville, and Indianapolis. He makes his San Francisco Symphony debut at this performance.

Highlights of recent seasons include the premiere of his choral treatment of Bob Dylan with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh; his debut with the Boston Pops; the premiere of his latest mashup, Mashupalooza, with the Coloardo Music Festival; and the release of the new STEREO HIDEOUT album The Gates Unknown, featuring a full orchestra and Louisville-based artist and rapper 1200. His previous albums include STEREO HIDEOUT’s The Radio Nouveau and Down with the Classics.

Mr. Hackman studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Curtis Institute of Music, and the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. His previous posts include creative director and conductor of FUSE@PSO, a genre-defying series at the Pittsburgh Symphony, music director of the Mash-Up series at the Colorado Music Festival, and co-creative director of the Happy Hour at the Symphony Series with the Indianapolis Symphony. As a composer and arranger, Mr. Hackman has worked with the string trio Time for Three, violinist Joshua Bell, and choral ensembles Chanticleer and the Tallis Scholars, among others.  

(July 2019)

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