Cellist Craig Hultgren is an activist for new music, the newly creative arts, and the avant-garde. Possessing a broad range of instrumental techniques from traditional to radical, Hultgren presents his own spontaneous, free-style improvisations along with programs of new music throughout the country and abroad.
His performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio's Performance Today, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and European radio. The Birmingham News said of him, "Hultgren...pushes the limits of his instrument brilliantly by using extended techniques in fascinating ways." A recipient of Artist Fellowships in 1992 and 1999 from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, he has been a member since 1993 of Thámyris, a contemporary chamber music ensemble in Atlanta.
A long-time member of the Alabama Symphony, he also plays in the Chagall Trio and the newly formed Luna Nova, ensemble of the Associated Colleges of the South. Hultgren is featured in three solo CD recordings including most recently the Electro-Acoustic Cello Book on Living Artist Recordings.
More than simply a performer, Hultgren also works in the behalf of arts as an organizer. He has served as president of both the Birmingham Art Music Alliance and the Birmingham Art Association, where he instituted Birmingham Improv, an international festival of improvisation.
Nationally, he is a consultant for the Living Music Foundation and on the Steering Committee of the New Directions Cello Association. In 2004, the Birmingham Sidewalk Film Festival 48-Hour Short Film Rush cited him for the best soundtrack creation for the film The Silent Treatment. 2005 finds him holding the Hultgren Solo Cello Works Biennial, an international competition that highlights the best new compositions for the instrument. This year he is also adjudicating and performing Composers of the Internet 2, a competition for high school and collegiate composers of solo cello pieces.Interview with Craig Hultgren
On Saturday, May 14th at 3 pm, Craig Hultgren gives an exhibition of recent compositions for the ecello at the Altamont School. This concert of newly composed solo pieces features amplification, digital sound effects, audio sound file playback, video and a computer score-reading tablet. The program consists mostly of compositions written for Hultgren and his ecello.