Irish pianist Brian Hughes is studying a Master of Performance in Piano Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Simon Lepper and Danny Driver, as a Kenneth and Violet Scott scholar. He is also a recipient of the Seán Mac Diarmada Award, one of the seven Easter Week Commemoration Scholarships granted by the Irish government to students who achieved excellent results in their Leaving Certificate Examinations in 2010.
Brian studied with Eleanor Malone in the CIT Cork School of Music where he graduated from with a first class honours degree in 2015. During his four years there, he specialised in piano accompaniment and chamber music, alongside counterpoint, orchestration and arranging.
Since leaving Cork, Brian has performed numerous times with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in Dublin and the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, performing in the island’s greatest concert halls and theatres; The National Concert Hall and Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin, Ulster Hall and Waterfront Theatre in Belfast. Many of these concerts have been recorded for broadcast by RTÉ and BBC Radio Ulster. He has shared the stage with Pacho Flores (Principal Trumpet with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra), Noah Stewart (American Tenor), Vladimir and Anton (violin duo), Ramin Karimloo (Tony Award winning West End star), and Katherine Jenkins. In 2017, he toured the US for four months with Grammy nominated Irish group Celtic Woman, performing in prestigious venues such as Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and many more.
Brian has recently accompanied the five singers of Northern Ireland Opera Studio in masterclasses with Sir Thomas Allen and pianist Iain Burnside. He was also musical director for North Dublin Opera’s production of Orfeo ed Euridice, which they performed in three venues across Dublin. In Feis Ceoil 2018, Brian was awarded the John Larchet Memorial Cup for sight reading.
Other accompaniment experience includes five years with the UCC Choral Society in Cork, during which he got to perform in choral festivals in Verona in Italy, Ghent in Belgium and Olomouc in the Czech Republic. In 2014, Brian made his professional debut recital with nationally renowned soprano Cara O’Sullivan in what is now the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.
Following an audition in Wigmore Hall, Brian was delighted to have been granted the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival Recital Award 2019. At this recital, he accompanied the winner and runner up of the Irish Heritage Bursary Competition in Lismore, Ireland.
Brian was highly commended for his performances in the Royal College of Music Lieder Competition, which took place in the Britten Theatre in January this year. He travelled to Berlin in March to perform in the Akademie der Künste, accompanying singers in a Lieder project of music by Jewish composer Robert Kahn. He has also recently performed in recitals organised by the arts organisation Irish Heritage, in St. Marylebone Parish Church and the Royal Over-Seas League Princess Alexandra Hall.
Brian will be the musical director of a singspiel entitled "The Ballad of the Cosmo Cafe", which will take place in November as part of the Insiders/Outsiders festival, a nationwide arts festival paying tribute to the indelible contribution of the many people in the arts who in fleeing Nazi-dominated Europe in the 1930s so greatly enriched British culture.