Soprano Ruby Hughes

Former BBC New Generation Artist, winner of both First Prize and Audience Prize at London’s 2009 Handel Singing Competition, Ruby also holds a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and was shortlisted for a 2014 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award. Through her blossoming catalogue of recordings and lovingly curated performances, she has become known for her interpretations of the music of the baroque and 20th and 21st Century.

Given her background and her wide range of interests, it comes as no surprise that Ruby is a passionate programmer, curator and collaborator. She has forged particularly close relationships with artists such as Laurence Cummings, Joseph Middleton, Jonas Nordberg, Natalie Clein and Julius Drake, Huw Watkins, United Strings of Europe, The Manchester Collective and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. This season 23/24 she was invited to curate and perform in a series of three concerts for BBC Northern Ireland as well as to present Inside Music for BBC Radio 3.

Ruby’s captivating capacity for communication and connection with audiences has lead to invitations to perform at Wigmore Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverrein, Palais Garnier and Philharmonie de Paris and in the US at both the Frick Collection and Carnegie Hall, New York. Festival appearances have included the BBC Proms, Cheltenham, Edinburgh International, Newbury, Aldeburgh, Aix en Provence, Gent Festival OdeGand, Göttingen, Marlboro and Spitalfields.

She has worked with a host of conductors including Rinaldo Allesandrini, Ivor Bolton, Laurence Cummings, Thierry Fischer, Pablo Heras Casado, Jun Markl, Juanjo Mena, Gianandrea Noseda, Marc Minkowski, Hervé Niquet, Thomas Søndergård, John Storgårds, and Osmo Vänskä.

On the opera stage Ruby has sung productions for Theater an der Wein (Roggiero in Rossini’s Tancredi, and Fortuna in L’Incoronazione di Poppea), Aix-en-Provence Festival (Euridice L’Orfeo), Opéra de Toulon (Rose Maurrant Street Scene) and Potsdamer Winteroper (title role, Theodora) and in the UK has performed major roles with English National Opera, Garsington Opera and for Scottish Opera.

Ruby’s vibrant discography continues to grow and includes solo recital recordings for major independent labels such as BIS, Chandos, Delphian and Hyperion.

Her first solo orchestral disc is a tribute to Giulia Frasi, Handel’s lyric muse. (OAE Laurence Cummings Chandos records).

Recorded for BIS and dedicated primarily to female composers of the 17th century, ‘Heroines of Love & Loss’ was released to huge critical acclaim, receiving a Diapason d’or award. ‘Clytemnestra’, the highly praised album of orchestral songs by Mahler, Berg and Rhian Samuel, in collaboration with BBCNOW, received a nomination for a Gramophone Award.

Ruby has recorded Mahler Symphony No. 2 with the Minnesota Symphony under Osmo Vänskä, a solo recital disc with Joseph Middleton titled ‘Songs for New Life and Love’ including works by Mahler, Ives and Helen Grime and a programme with United Strings of Europe, featuring Golijov’s ‘Three Songs for Soprano and String Orchestra.’

Recent releases include the critically acclaimed ‘Echo’ with pianist and composer Huw Watkins and ‘End of my Days’ with the Manchester Collective, which was record of the month in the BBC Music Magazine and received 5* in the Times.

Future recording projects for BIS include ‘Amidst the Shades’ with lutenist Jonas Nordberg, and ‘Inheriting the Earth’ with United Strings of Europe. A further recording with the Manchester Collective is due to be released later this year featuring a commission by Edmund Finnis together with Britten’s ‘Les Illuminations’. This programme was rapturously received whilst on tour in the UK in 2023.

 Ruby’s passion for performing new repertoire has also led to her becoming a champion of female composers. Pieces by Helen Grime, Deborah Pritchard, Judith Weir and Errolyn Wallen have been commissioned for her.

“Ruby Hughes is increasingly proving to be a key singer of the early 21st century” Klassik Music Magazine