Hill has also performed as Principal Timpanist with the Honolulu and Omaha Symphonies, the Colorado Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Hill's Symphony #3 premiered in January 2012 with Larry Rachleff conducting the Colorado Symphony. Symphony #3 was nominated for both the Pulitzer and Grawemeyer Awards in Music Composition. William Hill's Symphony #2 was performed and recorded for Albany Records in March 2010 by the Lamont Symphony, with Lawrence Golan conducting. The two CD set Bill Hill and Friends Live Jazz/Latin/Fusion was released in September of 2011 by Raccoon Hollar Music. Two new video and CD projects of Global Music and Jazz Fusion will be released in 2015.
Recent projects include video music for Oh! Heck! Yeah! which Mr. Hill composed, conducted and recorded with the Colorado Symphony in February 2014, a new chamber piece Beguiling My Sad Fancy Into Smiling which premiered on the Dazzle Classical Series in May of 2014 and a large work for orchestra and chorus based on Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven commissioned by the CSO for performances in March 2015. Hill was also commissioned by the Colorado Symphony to compose, conduct, and record music for the opening of the renovated Union Station in July 2014 The Grand Rapids Symphony with Music Director David Lockington opened its 2010 Classical Masters Series with William Hill's tone poem Aurora Borealis. The success of this led to an invitation to be guest composer and curator for the first concert of the Grand Rapids Symphony's highly successful new MusicNow Series in October 2013. Mr. Hillʼs Percussion Concerto, was premiered by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in May 2006 with Peter Oundjian conducting and the composer as soloist.
The theatric overture A New Direction was commissioned for the Gala Opening of Denver’s Buell Theatre, and Hill was recognized by Governor Romer for his contribution to the event. His compositions range from symphonic, to chamber music, modern jazz, and ethnic influenced music. He has been chosen four times as a winner in the Percussive Arts Society International Composition Contest, and has won prizes and commissions from Meet the Composer, the Colorado Music Teacher's National Association, the Denver Foundation, and many others. Mr. Hill has performed on several Grammy nominated recordings.
A CD of Hillʼs chamber compositions featuring performers from the Colorado Symphony and Denver University Faculty was released in the spring of 2007 on Centaur Records. The Moravian Philharmonic of the Czech Republic recorded four of his orchestral compositions for Albany Records, and these 2 CDs were also released in the Spring of 2007.
A multi-instrumentalist, William Hill has been featured with numerous orchestras as a soloist on timpani, marimba, vibraphone, drum set, ethnic percussion, and multiple percussion concertos. He is equally at home in classical, jazz, pop, folk, and world music idioms. Hillʼs first solo CD Rhythms of Innocence, featured him on over 75 percussion instruments, recorders, wood flutes, didjeridoo, and piano. His jazz compositions have been featured in live performance on Colorado Public Television. As a conductor, Hill has led the Colorado Symphony, Denver Chamber Orchestra, Greeley Chamber Orchestra, Aurora Symphony, Evergreen Chamber Orchestra, various chamber groups at the Grand Teton Music Festival, and numerous Denver area professional and amateur groups. Hill has been the subject of PBS Profiles on Western Artists, cover stories in On the Air Fine Arts Magazine, and Altitudes Entertainment Magazine, and articles in the League of American Orchestrasʼ Symphony Magazine, Denver Magazine, the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Grand Rapids Press, and the Salt Lake Tribune.
William Hill holds the Bachelor of Music with High Distinction (1977) from Indiana University, and the Master of Music (4.0 GPA) (1980) from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He was awarded the Performerʼs Certificate from Indiana University, the Maurice Abravannel Music Directorʼs Award from the Music Academy of the West, and the Drum Set Soloistʼs Award from the Ohio Collegiate Jazz Competition.
William Hill is married to violinist Natalie Schmitz Hill and they have two children, Nadya, born June 17,1988, and Colin, born August 2, 1994, both terrific musicians. The Hillʼs love to enjoy Coloradoʼs wonderful outdoors skiing, hiking, swimming, and horseback riding. The family also enjoys art work, and performing concerts for various community and family oriented events. An avid mountaineer, Hill has climbed and skied from the summit of more than 60 of Coloradoʼs highest peaks.
“It was one of those rare occasions when the ears could bask in almost total enchantment.......if one piece stood just a bit above the rest it was Hillʼs Seven Abstract Miniatures.” the Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Hillʼs Sonata for Marimba and Strings (with the composer as marimbist extraordinaire) stole the show. His music is unabashedly accessible and undeniably fun. The staid Nova audience whooped and hollered at the eye popping conclusion.” the Salt Lake Tribune
"Bill Hill Rocks the Concert Hall with New Percussion Piece" (headline) “Remarkable skills, colorful orchestration, and blazing virtuosity that canʼt fail to win over his listeners, who responded with a thunderous ovation.” Marc Shulgold, Rocky Mountain News
“Hillʼs pieces are marked by a high level of rhythmic inventiveness, a strong sense of lyricism and a wide range of harmonic languages. Colorful, impressionistic orchestration, sweeping gestures, and the feral sound of James Pelleriteʼs native flutes beautifully evoke the wild openness of the landscapes touched by the northern lights. The Moravian Philharmonic, led by Lawrence Golan, performs with passion and vigor.” Stephen Eddins, All Music Guide
“William Hillʼs Funky Little Crustceans is as charming as the title suggests.....his colorful writing for percussion (and everyone else) comes as no surprise, but he also has some memorable musical ideas. Aurora Borealis is atmospheric and often aptly luminous, and the sound of the Native American flutes is haunting. The Seven Abstract Miniatures are delightful and far more substantial than their title suggests. The composer himself is the superb percussion soloist and the orchestra sounds terrific throughout.” David Hurwitz, Classics Today
“A superb timpanist, outstanding percussionist, inspired composer and, above all, a tremendous colleague. Billʼs passion for music and making music are palpable.” Marin Alsop, internationally known conductor
“The highlight of the night was Colorado composer Bill Hillʼs tone poem “Aurora Borealis,” a 23 minute work that featured the symphonyʼs long time principal flutist Christopher Kantner. Kantner wove a spell with warm, bewitching tones, here commanding attention in rhythmic bursts, there lulling the listener with long soulful sounds of nature. Concert goers reacted with a well-deserved standing ovation.” John Phipps, Grand Rapids Press
"This was a very different kind of jazz concert. Every work on the program (composed by William Hill) was extremely sophisticated and reveled in complexities. Chiaraluce, Haverstick, Hanson, Bland, and Nadya and Bill Hill are capable of some of the most difficult improvisations that I have heard in many years. Hill can do with one hand what most other percussionists can do with two. Absolutely amazing, it will bring tears to your eyes." Robin McNeil, Opus Colorado
"I was riveted and delighted by the CSO's performance of William Hill's new Symphony #3, a thrilling and mature work premiered to huge acclaim. It just doesn't get any better than this." Lorenz Rychner, Editor, Recording-The Magazine for the Recording Musician
"William Hill is a major composer, and his Third Symphony will find its place in the history of music as one of the finest symphonies of its time." Robin McNeil, Opus Colorado
"Hill's Meditation and Ritual Dance takes pride of place because of his imaginative orchestration and the contrasting colors and moods that he evokes. Hill's Aurora Borealis invokes a haunting and dark atmosphere which must be a sonic equivalent to the visual spectacle that many have witnessed. His works demonstrate a secure technique, and accessible but original style, and an abundance of substantial and contrasting musical ideas. In Seven Abstract Miniatures Hill has succeeded in effectively setting seven of his own pen and ink drawings, and given that he is the featured solo percussionist in this recording, he is a triple threat. The music is full of the angular energy depicted in his art, clearly delineated by the lines, often driving and virtuosic, of the solo percussionist, and is quite a tour de force." David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare Magazine
"William Hill's Ancient Rituals is a dynamic work inspired by Colorado's Mesa Verde and the rites of its ancient cliff dwellers. It pushes the musical envelope in a host of ways, moody and languid passages that inspire vivid imagery, and robust percussion driven explosions. All of this makes a highly entertaining presentation-aurally and visually-with a less than stuffy vibe in the concert hall. Indeed the innovative material challenges the players as well as the audience: Many of the veteran, ultra-talented musicians clearly found the music provocative, breaking into wide grins or hollering out a hearty Bravo" GRNOW.com John Sinkevics