Title/Position: Associate Professor, Theory and CompositionProfile:
Why did you choose music as your career?
Do we get a choice? Actually, I’ve worked really, really hard to have the privilege of having a career in music. Anyone in the field will tell you the same thing. I think there is a niche for anyone in music, but you have to educate yourself about how broad the field is and be honest about where you want to be in it. For me, I always composed - it’s among my earliest memories. Even though I played in successful bands and studied classical piano, as soon as I discovered that you could still compose for orchestra outside of film, I knew that was what I wanted to do.
What would you say are the most outstanding highlights of your professional life?
When I was in high school, I used to say that someday I would play Carnegie Hall. The New York Saxophone Quartet performed my piece Drift there in 2005, so that was a big day for me, the realization of that dream. Another big day for me was having the Empire City Men’s Chorus premiere my work You Shall Not Go Down at the United Nations in 2010. When the Alabama Symphony Orchestra premiered my work Magic City, my first professional orchestra debut, that was pretty great. And when I earned tenure the first time, that was the realization of a goal. But overall, every performance, every successful class and student – these are continuing highlights for me. Each time you achieve a personal goal, you celebrate, and then you set another, higher goal, so my journey looks ahead rather than back.
Why should a potential student choose the Frost School of Music?
I can speak to this since I am a UM alumna. The Frost School has so many brilliant, strong programs, in so many areas of music, that any student can come in and expand their horizons in all directions at once. It’s an ideal place to find yourself as a musician while receiving an education that is unparalleled in excellence. The faculty is really there to mentor, not just teach, and the relationships I formed, and that all Frost students form, last for the duration of one’s professional career. I came in knowing what I wanted to do, but I also saw the many directions I might have moved in, and indulged myself and my musical interests in many different areas, not just composition. For example, I was able to study piano with Rosalina Sackstein, a legendary piano teacher, even though I was “just” a composition major.
What music have you been listening to lately?
During the Olympics, it’s been London composers: Julian Anderson, Simon Bainbridge, and Thomas Ades. I listen ALL THE TIME, and I share what I hear on my radio show on WVUM. It’s called the Po Mo Show, and it’s on noon to 1:00 pm every Wednesday. I only play classical music written since 1980. I invite anyone to stream live at: http://wvum.org/index.php/wvum/stream/
or to Like the Po Mo Show on Facebook and you can hear what I’ve been listening to any given week.
What is your teaching philosophy? What do you expect from students at the Frost School of Music?
I feel like it’s my job to share everything I know with young artists, which is a big responsibility. I am still so excited about everything that has to do with music, and everything new I learn I want to share with the people closest to me, namely, my students. In turn, I have really high expectations of my students. There is a certain amount of work I expect, but I also expect them to nourish the artist that they are, and to be passionate about what they are doing. I can teach material someone might not know, but I can’t create the heart of an artist – the student needs to come in with that already.
Dorothy Hindman is an associate professor of composition in the Department of Theory and Composition at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Dr. Hindman’s work is performed extensively in the U.S., and throughout Eastern and Western Europe. Critics have called her music “intense, gripping, and frenetic,” “sonorous and affirmative,” and “music of terrific romantic gesture.” Awards and recognition include the 2005 Almquist Choral Composition Award, a 2004 Nancy Van de Vate International Composition Prize for Opera, a 2004 Winner of the International Society of Bassists Solo Composition Competition, an Alabama State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship, and the NACUSA Young Composers Competition. Commissions for 2010 include Prothalamia for the Empire City Men’s Chorus (NYC), and The Road to Damascus for the Caraval Quartet (NYC). Other recent commissions include Sursum Corda for the a cappella choir of the same name, The Wall Calls to Me to accompany a visual installation by artist Sally Johnson, Nine Churches for the Corona Guitar Kvartet and Lithuanian Sinfonia, Tapping the Furnace for Evelyn Glennie, Stuart Gerber and Scott Deal, and The Pillow Book for the Goliard Ensemble (NYC). Her residencies include a Seaside Escape to Create Residency in 2009; Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, Italy in Fall 2005; resident composer at the Visby International Centre for Composers, Sweden in 2005; and Composer-in-Residence for the Goliard Ensemble in 2009. A native of Miami and a graduate of the Frost School of Music, she is also a writer for the Miami Herald and South Florida Classical Review.