About Dick Hyman
A musician’s musician, Dick Hyman is a celebrated pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and composer. The New York Times has written that he “can do practically anything on a piano,” and National Public Radio has named him “a living, breathing, swinging encyclopedia of jazz.” Admired for his masterful improvisation and astounding versatility, he continues to perform frequently and widely. He has numerous film scores, orchestral compositions, and concert appearances to his credit. He has recorded over 100 albums under his own name and has performed on countless others.
Hyman embarked on his career in the 1950s, freelancing in New York City’s booming music scene. At the opening of the famed Birdland, he displayed his versatility by playing with both Lester Young, the reigning swing saxophonist, and Max Kaminsky’s Dixielanders. He was also heard at Bop City with Red Norvo, at Café Society with Tony Scott, and was a soloist at Wells’ Music Bar in Harlem and at The Composer on New York’s East Side.
During this period he accompanied Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie when they played together on a historic TV broadcast and served as pianist, organist, and conductor for the NBC staff orchestra. Following this, he became music director at CBS for the well-known radio and television personality Arthur Godfrey. Hyman has also enjoyed a prolific three-decade career as a studio musician, winning seven Most Valuable Player Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Some of the artists he has played with or arranged for include Barbra Streisand, André Kostelanetz, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Bette Midler, Johnny Mathis, Frankie Avalon, Aretha Franklin, Percy Faith, and, on one remarkable occasion, Igor Stravinsky.
His extensive concert performance schedule has spanned the globe, including tours of the U.S., Canada, Europe, the former Soviet Union, Japan, and Australia. In addition to appearances as soloist or music director, he has often collaborated with other pianists such as Derek Smith, Billy Taylor, Roger Kellaway, Ralph Sutton, Dick Wellstood, and Marian McPartland, and has been featured in concerts with trumpeter/conductor Doc Severinsen.
His film scoring accomplishments include an Emmy for his original score for Sunshine’s on the Way and another for musical direction of a PBS special on Eubie Blake. He has served as composer/arranger/conductor/pianist for over 10 Woody Allen films, including Zelig, Purple Rose of Cairo, and Everyone Says I Love You, and he scored the Oscar-winning film Moonstruck. In the dance field, his collaborations include composing and performing the score for the Cleveland/San Jose Ballet Company’s Piano Man and Twyla Tharp’s Bum’s Rush for American Ballet Theatre.