David Russell Hulme

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David Russell Hulme in 2009

David Russell Hulme (born 19 June 1951) is a Welsh conductor and musicologist known for his research and publications on the music of Sir Arthur Sullivan, the Victorian era composer who, with Sir W. S. Gilbert, was responsible for the Gilbert and Sullivan Savoy Operas.

Life and career[edit]

A native of Machynlleth, Wales, Russell Hulme studied music under Ian Parrott at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and studied conducting with Sir Adrian Boult. Gaining an MA and PhD for his research into British Music, he has published extensively, including articles for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the BBC Proms. Russell Hulme completed his PhD thesis, "The operettas of Sir Arthur Sullivan: a study of available autograph scores", in 1985 at the University of Wales. The thesis has been widely circulated among Sullivan scholars and Gilbert and Sullivan fans.[1]

Russell Hulme regularly conducts throughout Britain and Ireland. In 2001 he toured Australia and New Zealand, where he conducted the State Orchestra of Victoria, the Auckland Philharmonia and the Sydney Opera House Orchestra. He tours with the Carl Rosa Opera Company as conductor and chorus-master, including the Company's tours of North America in 2004 and 2006. Russell Hulme also has written articles on Gilbert and Sullivan[2] and has lectured at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, where he also conducted a 2009 professional revival of Princess Ida. Russell Hulme has reconstructed songs from Gilbert and Sullivan operas where the music had been partially lost, including the Duke's first act aria from Patience.[3]

Described in Opera magazine as the "leading authority on Sullivan's manuscripts", Russell Hulme has been closely involved in productions by leading opera companies including Welsh National Opera (Charles Mackerras's The Yeomen of the Guard), English National Opera (the Ken Russell/Jane Glover Princess Ida). New Sadler's Wells Opera and D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, as well as others in North America and Australia. He is also a leading authority on the music of Edward German.[4] He was Senior Music Advisor and a conductor at the Sir Edward German Music Festivals at Whitchurch, Shropshire in 2006, 2009 and 2014 and is custodian of The Edward German Archive.[5]

Russell Hulme edited Sullivan's music and advised for Mike Leigh's 1999 film Topsy-Turvy.[6] In 2000 Oxford University Press published his critical edition of the full and piano-vocal scores of Ruddigore. He also edited a 2006 edition of William Walton's Symphony No. 2, a 2002 score of Haydn's Missa in tempore belli (Mass in Time of War), both for OUP,[7] and, in 2000, the rediscovered Sullivan D minor string quartet.[8] Russell Hulme conducted (and also edited the score and wrote liner notes for) the first complete recording of Tom Jones, by Edward German, released by Naxos in 2009.[9]

David Russell Hulme was the Director of Music at North Hertfordshire College in Hitchin in Hertfordshire for almost ten years, leaving to become, in 1992, the first Director of Music at Aberystwyth University, where he also holds a readership. For the university he conducts the symphony orchestra (Philomusica) and Choral Union. He also became conductor of the Aberystwyth Choral Society in 2002. He was the recipient of the 2012 Glyndŵr Award for "an Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales" presented at the 2012 Machynlleth Festival.[10]


  1. ^ The Thesis is available online here and from libraries including The British Library Document Supply Centre, Boston Spa, Wetherby W. Yorks, Ref # DX171353, Northern Illinois University, Call# :ML410.S95 H841986B, and the following WorldCat libraries: APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA and Turabian OCLC: 64447068. It has been referred to in numerous G&S symposia and newsletters, for example here. The library copies lack the authorised errata and corrections to the Thesis found in the online version.
  2. ^ See, for example, The Usher’s Song, in the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society booklet commemorating the centenary of the first revivals of Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer (1984)
  3. ^ Information from Patience production website
  4. ^ Article about Russell Hulme conducting Edward German works
  5. ^ Russell Hulme at the Sir Edward German Festival, 2006
  6. ^ Information from the IMDB database. See also Information from the Aberystwyth Choral Society website and Information from the Penn State Performing Arts website
  7. ^ Information from the findbook website
  8. ^ Sullivan, Arthur. Quartette for two violins, viola and violoncello. (ed.) David Russell Hulme. Stowmarket, Suffolk: Kevin Mayhew, 2000
  9. ^ "Tom Jones, opera" allmusic (2009)
  10. ^ 2012 Machynlleth Festival programme, MomaWales.org, August 2012

External links[edit]