Benjamin Hughes, Principal Cello of the BBC Concert Orchestra, is making a name for himself as one of the UK’s most dynamic and versatile cellists. He is in great demand as a chamber musician and performs regularly with the Fibonacci Sequence at prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, King’s Place, Conway Hall, the Holywell Rooms in Oxford and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Australia. Benjamin has recorded works by Messiaen, Schubert, Elgar and Brahms with the Fibonacci Sequence for Deux Elles and Dutton. He appears regularly on BBC Radio and Television as a soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and recently performed Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations live on BBC R3. He is equally at home playing Bach, Bartok or Brubeck.
Benjamin studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire where he won all the major prizes for cello and graduated with a first class BMus (Hons) degree, after which he took up an invitation to study at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen with the internationally acclaimed cellist and teacher Alexander Baillie. During his time there, Benjamin gave many solo recitals and concerto performances including live broadcasts for Radio Bremen and Deutschland Radio, Berlin, and performed with the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra and the acclaimed Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.
Benjamin went on to study with Steven Doane at the Eastman School of Music, New York, graduating with a Master’s degree in music performance and literature. On returning to the UK he was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma after studying for a further year at the Royal Academy of Music, and was made an Honorary Member of the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2005.
As Guest Principal Cellist, Benjamin has worked with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Giovanni Antonini, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles and Ilan Volkov, as well as Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Opera, Opera North and Britten Sinfonia. He was a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra from 2006 to 2007 and worked with many of the world’s leading conductors in Britain and abroad touring Europe, Mexico, Japan and China. Benjamin took up the post of Principal Cello of the BBC Concert Orchestra in September 2007.
of Music in London, teaching cello and coaching students involved in the Academy's orchestral activities.
Benjamin has also made two instruments; a natural acoustic cello with an unusual body shape, which won national design competition and a semi-acoustic electric cello, which has been featured on a BBC Radio 3 programme dedicated to the progress of electronic music called ‘Electronica’.
Benjamin is deeply grateful to Kathron Sturrock for the loan of a wonderful Ouchard bow in memory of her late husband Professor David Bennett.