Before joining the Arapahoe Philharmonic family, Devin Patrick Hughes has been Music Director of the Boulder Symphony for five seasons. He has lately held posts as Music Director of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association, Denver Contemporary Chamber Players, Resident Conductor of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Assistant Conductor for the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Lamont Symphony Orchestra. Recently Devin was the only American selected with eleven other conductors worldwide as finalist in the Arturo Toscanini International Conducting Competition in Parma, Italy and also conducted at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen under the mentorship of Robert Spano, Hugh Wolf, and Larry Rachleff.
An avid performer and promoter of the music of our time, Devin initiated a composer-in-residence program with the Boulder Symphony and began an annual Latin American Festival, celebrating the shared cultural traditions of North, Central and Latin America through music and dance. Under his baton, the Boulder Symphony has soared to new artistic heights and become a centralized hub for community-wide initiatives, major collaborations and premieres of exciting new music throughout the West. As founder and Music Director of the Denver Contemporary Chamber Players, a group dedicated to highlighting local composers and exploring the interplay of music, theatre, art and dance, Devin commissioned and performed multiple musical responses to exhibitions in the Museum of Contemporary Art during Denver Arts Week. He also staged a very rare performance and Colorado premiere of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale with the controversial libretto by Kurt Vonnegut. With Kulmusik and the Ithaca Contemporary Chamber Ensemble in New York, he premiered many works, such as Jesse Clark’s Cello Concertoand Free Weight Fantastique written for small ensemble and weightlifter and In the Garden of Eden, a ballet by Naomi Williams. He has also performed many works by composers such as Jennifer Higdon, John Harbison, Christopher Theofanidis, Witold Lutoslawski, Avro Pärt, Keiko Abe, Gregory T.S. Walker, Austin Wintory and Thomas Osborne.
Equally active in the choral and operatic repertoire, Devin presented Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Golden Concert Choir in celebration of the composer’s 200th birthday. He also premiered Ozie Cargile’s Song for Humanity, has led performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Boulder Chorale, and most recently Brahms’s German Requiem with the Cherry Creek Chorale. During the 2009/2010 season he led the Colorado Choral Arts Society in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and cantatas and oratorios of Bach and Handel and was formerly the conductor of Ball State Opera for Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge. He also has served on the conducting staff for productions ofCarmen, The Merry Widow and Cosi fan tutte.
As an advocate of music serving a greater societal purpose and proponent of music education, Devin has held benefit concerts raising money for organizations such as the Red Cross, Oxfam International, Cultures in Harmony, the Colorado Haiti Project, Transition Colorado and has served as an AmeriCorps tutor, mentor and coach for Nothing but Achievers, and the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony, where he arranged African-American spirituals for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March. He has partnered to make music more universally assessable through organizations such as I Have a Dream, Circle of Care, and has initiated a Music in the Schools project at Pinnacle Charter School in Federal Heights. He has also served as clinician for the Saint Vrain Valley All-District Orchestra Festival, adjudicator for the Colorado State Music Teachers Association’s annual Concerto Competition, and has taught courses at the Denver Academy for Lifelong Learning and the Music Schools of the University of Denver and Ithaca College in New York and New Mexico School for the Arts.
Devin has conducted many orchestras across the United States, Canada and Europe including the Colorado Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Green Bay Symphony, Des Moines Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Muncie Symphony, American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra, Idaho Falls Symphony, Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini (Italy), Oradea Philharmonic (Romania) and the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (Czech Republic). At the Lamont School of Music he was the recipient of the Leon Guide Conducting Award, the Harry Albertson Scholarship and was granted the Jeff Bradley Musical Development Award numerous times. He currently resides in Denver with his wife Molly and cat/daughter Chakra.
Photograph by Michael Sasser