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Saturday, January 12, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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University of Puget Sound professor gets Grammy nomination

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Duane Hulbert is new to the Grammy game. But he's got the sound bites down pat.

"I'm just pleased to be a nominee," said Hulbert, a local pianist and first-time Grammy Award nominee. "I'm honored to be included in that group."

Hulbert's nomination in category 94 of the Grammys, "Classical Instrumental Soloist Performance Without Orchestra," pits him against three other pianists and a cellist. The 44th annual Grammy Awards will be presented Feb. 27 in Los Angeles.

Hulbert, a professor of piano at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, was nominated for his debut compact disc, "Alexander Glazunov: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 1," the first of a four-part series. He spent part of his winter vacation in New York recording music for the second and third volumes.

Upcoming concert


Duane Hulbert will perform in a Jacobsen Series concert at the University of Puget Sound Concert Hall Feb. 8. Tickets are $11 for the general public, $7 for students and seniors. Tickets: 253-879-3419.
"I was quite in shock. My assumption is this type of nomination is only given to people who have established careers or big managers," Hulbert said in a phone interview from New York.

Hulbert has been a member of the University of Puget Sound faculty since 1986. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the Juilliard School of Music and a doctorate in musical art from the Manhattan School of Music.

"It's wonderful for Duane to receive this recognition. He's a brilliant pianist," said Keith Ward, director of the University of Puget Sound's School of Music. "He has a love for Glazunov. It's a style of music that just fits him so very well. I think that fit, in part, is why his interpretations are so convincing."

Hulbert learned of his nomination Jan. 4, the day the nominees were announced, when he got a call from his producer at Bridge Records, a small label based in New York City.

"The first thing she said was, 'I bet your phone has been ringing off the hook today,' " he recalled. "I said, 'Oh, my 15-year-old daughter has been on the phone all day.' And she said, 'No, that's not what I mean; you've been nominated for a Grammy.' "

Hulbert told his wife and three children the news, then went to teach a piano lesson — when what he really wanted to do was open a bottle of champagne.

He will travel to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony next month, family in tow.

"We made it into a mini-family trip," he said. "My 15-year-old daughter is ecstatic about going to the Grammys ... not about the classical portion."

Other nominees in the category are pianists Marc-Andre Hamelin, Stephen Hough and Maurizio Pollini, and cellist Truls Mork.

Pam Sitt can be reached at 206- 464-2376 or psitt@seattletimes.com.

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