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Musical World

Edward Dudley Hughes

  • Composer


Edward Dudley Hughes's collaboration with Yoshida (Memory of Colour) was nominated for a British Composer Award in 2005. His opera The Birds, performed by The Opera Group and I Fagiolini was awarded the Gresham College Prize and was profiled live on BBC Radio 3 with extracts performed by the cast.

He was commissioned by Glyndebourne Opera and Photoworks to write a new orchestral score to the Sophy Rickett film (commissioned simultaneously) about Glyndebourne entitled 'AUDITORIUM'. The joint work premiered live at Glyndebourne on 17 November 2007 and was installed at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, prior to an international tour. This major collaboration will be the subject of a book to be published by Photoworks in 2010. 'AUDITORIUM' was shown at Tate Modern on 7 March 2008, and at Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Palazzo Santa Margherita in Modena, Italy, Alberto Peola Arte Contemporanea in Turin and Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo. 'AUDITORIUM' was shortlisted for a British Composer Award in 2008; extracts were broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

He has also had performances at a national level including Oxford Playhouse, Cheltenham Festival, Buxton Opera House, South Bank Centre in London, and many of his works have been recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. 'Strike Sketches' was broadcast on Hear and Now in May 2008 and extracts of 'AUDITORIUM' were broadcast in December 2008.

In 2006 he was awarded a grant by the Arts Council England to write a score for the silent film Strike, also by Eisenstein. This work was completed in 2007 and premiered at the Barbican in July. It toured the UK in 2007 and was released by Tartan Video in a box-set of Eisenstein’s early films, also including Battleship Potemkin. The Israel Contemporary Players gave two live performances of Battleship Potemkin in Tel Aviv in May 2008.

He was commissioned by the Tacet Ensemble to write a work for them and the folk duo Spiers and Boden. The work was premiered at Komedia in Brighton on 29 November 2008, followed by a UK tour.

In November 2008 Ed's new opera 'Cocteau in the Underworld, a collaboration with librettist Roger Morris, was workshopped by the ROH2 OperaGenesis Programme, culminating in a fully-staged performance of the opening and closing scenes. A revised version of the same scenes was performed to a large and enthusastic audience at the Brighton Festival on Monday 4 May 2009.

Etude: On Time for solo violin and electronics was premiered at the Courtauld Institute on Friday 22 May 2009 performed by Anna Blackmur.

Auditorium, Ed's collaboration with filmmaker Sophy Rickett, continues to tour internationally with installations in Alsace in August 2009. Auditorium featured in Berwick on Tweed Media and Arts Festival from 18-20 September 2009, where it was installed in a former Ice House.

Recent performances include concerts with the Camilleri Trio (Alison Hughes, clarinet; Anje Inge, cello; Joanne Camileri, piano) featuring Ed's Trio (in memoriam David Osmond Smith) in Southampton, Oxford and Malta, and the world premiere of A Buried Flame for choir, bass guitar and electronics by Bath Camerata directed by Nigel Perrin on Good Friday, 2010 in Wells Cathedral. Based on poems by prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and texts from Psalm 69, A Buried Flame was featured in Choir and Organ magazine and Swedish Radio.

Extracts from Ed's opera Cocteau in the Underworld were performed as part of the Royal Opera House's ROH2 Exposure events at the Linbury Theatre on Wednesday 14 and Friday 16 April 2010. Cocteau in the Underworld will be performed in its entirety in a new staging by Poppy Burton-Morgan with new video by designer Will Reynolds at the Grimeborn Opera Festival at the Arcola Theatre, Hackney on 20 and 21 August 2010.

Ed's concert music will feature in an event at Kings Place as part of their Monday night Out Hear series on Monday 27 September 2010, performed by New Music Players.

Ed Hughes lives in Lewes and lectures in Music at the University of Sussex. He is represented by the University of York Music Press and the British Music Information Centre.