Dr. Richard K. (Rik) Hansen is Professor of Music at St. Cloud State University, where he teaches conducting, musicology, and interdisciplinary arts. Hansen established the graduate program in conducting at SCSU, mentoring over 30 outstanding instrumental conductors from Asia, Europe, and the Midwest in their M.M. Degrees in Conducting. Hansen has received two Outstanding Teaching Awards and the Professional Contributions Award fom SCSU and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Sioux Falls.
Professor Hansen has conducted in Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Scandinavia, and throughout the United States. He is a visiting conductor for both the Musashino Academia Musicae Wind Ensemble in Tokyo and the Musica Viva! Wind Band program in Lombardia, Italy. Hansen has made cutting edge wind band recordings for Sony, BRAIN, Classical Arkiv, Vienna Modern Music Masters, GSA Recordings, and Mark Recordings. He is a champion of new music and core repertoire and has commissioned and performed over 40 world premieres. Major American composers and wind conductors alike have described Hansen's conducting as “soulful, compelling, insightful, and visionary.” Under Dr. Hansen’s guidance the SCSU Wind Ensemble has performed for twelve professional conventions, including the prestigious ABA national convention, two North Central CBDNA performances, and a MENC North Central performance. The SCSU Wind Ensemble has also appeared in live national radio broadcasts on the nationally syndicated Pipe Dreams program from St. Paul and IMMER Radio in Mexico City.
Professor Hansen has presented on topics of concert programming, historical perspectives, and philosophical issues in conducting for several national and international conferences. In 2009 he became the first American scholar and conductor to present for the Oxford Round Table of Scholars, when he presented "America’s Artistic Response to Global Terrorism: In Search of Expression and Renewed Spirituality," and in 2013 he presented and presided over sessions at the Harvard International Arts and Sciences Conference. Leading authorities Frederick Fennell, Raoul Camus, Eugene Corporon, and Ray Cramer have described Hansen’s book, The American Wind Band: A Cultural History with such praises as “the breakthrough comprehensive history of the wind band,” and “most important book in the wind band profession.” Rik Hansen is a passionate advocate and scholar of music and the arts, and is frequently engaged as a guest conductor and motivational speaker.