Lee Hyla was born in Niagara Falls, New York, and grew up in Greencastle, Indiana. He studied composition with Malcolm Peyton at New England Conservatory, and at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, with David Lewin. His musical background also includes extensive experience as a pianist in new music, rock, and free improvisation. He has been commissioned by numerous performers including the Midori/Vadim Repin commissioning project, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet (with Allen Ginsberg), The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum Musicae, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Lydian String Quartet, Triple Helix Piano Trio, the Firebird Ensemble, Tim Smith, Tim Berne, Rhonda Rider, Stephen Drury, Mia Chung, Judith Gordon, Mary Nessinger, and Boston Musica Viva.
In addition, Hyla has received commissions from The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Fromm Music Foundation, Barlow Endowment, The Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, The Mary Flagler Carey Charitable Trust, Concert Artists Guild, three commissions from Chamber Music America, and four Meet the Composer/Reader’s Digest Consortium commissions. In 2007-08 he was the composer-in-residence with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra as part of the Meet the Composer Music Alive Residency program. Hyla has also been the recipient of the Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, a Guggenheim Fellowship Award, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Goddard Lieberson Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Rome Prize.
His music is published exclusively by Carl Fischer and has been recorded on Nonesuch Records, New World Records, Avant Records, Tzadik, and CRI. His CD Wilson’s Ivory-bill was released on Tzadik. In the fall of 2004, Hyla was Resident Composer at the American Academy in Rome. He also served as chairman of the composition department at New England Conservatory, where he taught from 1992 to 2007. In September 2007 he began an appointment as the Wyatt Chair in Music Composition at Northwestern University.