Ruby Hughes, soprano and Huw Watkins, piano

7.45pm THURSDAY 25th JULY 2019


Ruby Hughes, soprano and Huw Watkins, piano

H. Purcell: (arranged for piano & voice by B. Britten and M. Tippett)
Music for a while (arr. Tippett), Bonvuca’s song (arr.Tippett)
O Solitude (arr. Britten), An Epithalamium (arr. Tippet)
M. Ravel : Deux mélodies hébraïques
B. Britten: Cabaret Songs
Celtic folk songs arranged by B. Britten: At the mid hour of night,
O come ye not from Newcastle, O Waly Waly
H. Watkins: Echo
B. Britten: Charm of Lullabies

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Ruby Hughes began her musical studies as a cellist graduating from the Guildhall School of Music in London. She went on to study voice at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Munich and the Royal College of Music, London. Ruby is a holder of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, winner of both First Prize and The Audience Prize at the 2009 London Handel Singing Competition and a former BBC New Generation Artist.

She made her debut at Theater an der Wein in 2009 as Roggiero in Rossini’s Tancredi, returning as Fortuna in L’Incoronazione di Poppea. She has performed Euridice in L’Orfeo at Aix-en-Provence Festival, Sandrina L’infedelta delusa and Narcissa Philemon und Baucis at the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, The Indian Queen at the Schwetzinger Festival, and Rose Maurrant Street Scene at the Opéra de Toulon.

In the UK she has performed major roles with English National Opera, Garsington Opera, The Opera Group, Music Theatre Wales and Scottish Opera.  She also appeared in Sir Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of the St Matthew Passion at the National Theatre. In concert, she has sung under conductors including Rinaldo Allesandrini, Ivor Bolton, Laurence Cummings, Thierry Fischer, HK Gruber, Pablo Heras Casado, Philippe Herreweghe, Rene Jacobs, Juanjo Mena, Gianandrea Noseda, Marc Minkowski, Hervé Niquet, Thomas Søndergård, John Storgårds, and Osmo Vanska  to name a few,  and with ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, all the BBC Orchestras, Britten Sinfonia, Le Concert Spirituel,  Concerto Koln, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Zurich Chamber Orchestra.

Festival appearances have included the Bach Fest Leipzig, BBC Proms, Cheltenham, Edinburgh International, La Folle Journée, Gent Festival OdeGand, Göttingen, Marlboro, Lockenhaus, Manchester International, Spitalfields, and West Cork. She has broadcast & recorded extensively covering a wide range of repertoire including works by Bach, Barber, Berg, Britten, Crumb, Handel, Haydn, Mahler, Maxwell Davies, Macmillan, Mozart, Schubert & Schumann.

Ruby is a passionate recitalist & works closely with the pianists Julius Drake & Joseph Middleton.  In 2016 she released her first solo recital disc ‘Nocturnal variations’, songs by Schubert, Mahler, Britten and Berg with pianist Joseph Middleton for the Champs Hill label, named BBC Music Magazine’s choice of the month.  In the same month she appeared on the critically acclaimed disc ‘Purcell Songs Realised by Britten’ for the same label. A champion of women composers, she recently recorded ‘Heroines of Love and Loss’: a disc dedicated to 17th century women composers for the BIS label, with long-term collaborator Jonas Nordberg, which was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine, and was awarded a Diapason d’or. In 2018 she releases a disc for Chandos Records with the OAE and Laurence Cummings dedicated to Giulia Frasi, Handel’s lyric muse.

She made her US recital debut in 2015 with Julius Drake at The Frick Collection in New York and in 2017 made her Carnegie Hall recital debut with a commissioned song cycle by Huw Watkins. She recently performed and recorded Mahler Symphony No.2 with the Minnesota Symphony under Osmo Vanska for BIS Records.

Recent and future highlights include recitals at Wigmore Hall (including a new commission by Helen Grime), Newbury Spring, International Handel Festispiele Gottingen, Presteigne, West Cork, and 3 Choirs Festivals. In the UK concerts include those with the OAE, BBC Phil, BBC NOW and RLPO and further afield a return to the RIAS Kammerkoor for performances of Purcell’s Fairy Queen, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with Garry Walker and Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie and a tour with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century.

Pianist Huw Watkins is one of Britain’s foremost composers and teaches composition at the Royal College. Huw performs regularly with orchestras such as BBC Symphony, BBC NOW and Britten Sinfonia, he has appeared at Aldeburgh and Cheltenham festivals, at Wigmore Hall, Barbican, the Lincoln Center in New York and at major venues in Europe. As a composer, he has written works for the Nash Ensemble, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Belcea and Elias Quartets, BBC Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra. He is currently Composer in Association with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and won the Lincoln Chamber Music Society’s 2016 Elise L Stoeger Prize, in recognition of significant contributions to the field of chamber music composition. He has recorded cello and piano works with Paul Watkins, Alexander Goehr’s piano cycle Symmetry Disorders Reach and Thomas Adès’s song cycle The Lover in Winter with Robin Blaze. NMC Records released a disc of his compositions entitled In my craft or sullen art. Born in Wales, he studied piano with Peter Lawson at Chetham’s School of Music and composition with Robin Holloway, Alexander Goehr and Julian Anderson at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music. He now teaches composition at the Royal Academy of Music and regularly features on BBC Radio 3.

Ruby Hughes:

Huw Watkins: huw-watkins


Delicious food and drink is available at all concerts as well as a limited number of post concert suppers at the nearby Old Vicarage where you can dine with the musicians. Go to the HOSPITALITY page for details…