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Lecture: Brian Hulse

Brian Hulse Returns to the U

Alumnus composer Brian Hulse returns to the University of Utah to share his views on success with the next generation of aspiring composers.

A 2013 recipient of the College of Fine Arts Distinguished Alumni Award, Dr. Hulse will lecture on October 2nd at noon in Dumke Recital Hall on what success means to the creative individual and how the definition that composers assign to it affects their happiness.

Hulse describes his years at the University of Utah as some of the most “complicated, difficult, and exhilarating” of his life. He struggled in his music classes and eluded the aesthetics of his teachers as his own expressive voice took shape, not knowing that this experimental spirit would propel him forward as an artist.

Hulse credits his composition professor, Morris Rosenzweig, with transforming his anger into creative expression. A “tough teacher with a brilliant mind,” Rosenzweig helped Hulse find his voice as a composer and use his youthful energy to drive his creative work.

“He took me under his wing and taught me many life lessons,” he said, “without Professor Rosenzweig I can’t imagine where or what I would be today.”

Hulse seeks in his compositions to uncover what is honest and true, instead of retracing what others have done. For him, music taps into our deepest selves. “Only music has access to these depths,” he explained, “which is why it is so powerful, so ubiquitous, and so irrepressible.”

An Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at The College of William & Mary in Virginia, Dr. Hulse also directs composition studies at the soundSCAPE Festival in Maccagno, Italy.

The College of Fine Arts Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni from its five departments – Art & Art History, Ballet, Film and Media Arts, Modern Dance, Music and Theatre. Recipients receive recognition at an annual assembly in Kingsbury Hall on October 3rd from 10:45 AM to 12:15 PM, which is free and open to the public.


The University of Utah School of Music offers a comprehensive program of music study on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The School of Music educates professionally-oriented students across the musical spectrum through rigorous musical and academic experiences; serves the art of music through performance, composition, research and publication; and functions as the state’s center for intellectual, educational, and cultural musical activities. It has been an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1952. 

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Last Updated: 3/22/23