Bernard Hughes’ music has been performed at major venues in Britain and abroad and received a number of broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. A CD of his choral music, I am the Song, was released in 2016 on Signum Classics.
He was commissioned by the BBC Singers to create The Death of Balder – a Norse myth re-told by the distinguished novelist and scholar Kevin Crossley-Holland, the Crouch End Festival Chorus and Juice Vocal Ensemble receiving performances at the Huddersfield, Spitalfields and City of London Music Festivals, and at venues including St Paul’s Cathedral and Symphony Hall, Birmingham. He also appeared as a conductor on the Channel 4 series Howard Goodall’s Twentieth Century Greats.
Recent commissions include ‘The Knight Who Took All Day’, a new work for narrator and orchestra for Hertford Symphony Orchestra, and ‘O du Liebe meiner Liebe’ for pianist William Howard’s Love Songs project.
Hughes is interested in using tonal materials in a non-tonal way and in the use of modes, such as the octatonic collection, or invented modes. His musical language sits somewhere between difficult modern music and more straightforward classical music. He enjoys working with groups and individuals who enjoy the challenge of new music. He writes with a combination of handwritten and computer based notation, often working short passages or motifs out on the piano before printing them out and making hand written amendments.
As well as his blog, Bernard Hughes writes regularly on new music for Tempo, a quarterly magazine about contemporary music published by Cambridge University Press. He has written about the composers Piers Hellawell, Param Vir, Judith Weir and contributes regular CD, concert and book reviews. Bernard Hughes also reviews for the website theartsdesk.
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- Collection 3 #23
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