“Her singing is exceptional for its consistency [...] invariably true in pitch and capable of a surprising range of dynamic variety – a perfect instrument of its kind. Every word she sings comes through clearly.”
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, graduating in 2009.
Recent and future highlights include:
- Recital to include Huw Watkins [New Commission] with Julius Drake – Carnegie Hall
- Mahler Symphony No. 2 – Minnesota Orchestra (concerts and recording) – Osmo Vänskä
- Recital ‘Songs for New Life & Love’ to include Helen Grime [New Commission] – Wigmore Hall
- Handel Messiah and Bach Magnificat with NDR and Andrew Manze; and Orchestra of Eighteenth Century with Daniel Reuss
- Purcell The Fairy Queen with RIAS Kammerchor
- Recording with OAE – disc dedicated to Guilia Frasi, (Chandos Records, 2018)
Holder of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, Shortlisted for a 2014 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, Winner of both First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 London Handel Singing Competition and a former BBC New Generation Artist, Ruby Hughes is the daughter of the celebrated Welsh ceramicist Elizabeth Fritsch.
Ruby 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, Manchester Camerata, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony 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.
She made her US debut in 2015 in a recital with Julius Drake at The Frick Collection in New York and in the 17/18 season will make her Carnegie Hall recital debut to include a commission by Huw Watkins.
Recent engagements include tours with Concerto Köln & Ivor Bolton, and debuts with Akademie für Alte Musik at the Berlin Philharmonie, with the Halle Orchestra, and a recital with Julius Drake at the Wigmore Hall.
Highlights of the 16/17 season and beyond include a return to the BBC Proms, a song cycle written for her by Judith Weir, a return to London’s Wigmore Hall for a recital including a song cycle commission by Helen Grime, and debuts with Music of the Baroque, Chicago, and the Minnesota Orchestra with whom she will perform and record Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. She has also recently recorded a disc for Chandos Records with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, dedicated to Guilia Frasi, Handel’s lyric muse, for release in 2018.