The Music of Robert Hugill


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Garrett, an opera in 1 Act

2003 orchestral concert

2006 orchestral concert

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Robert is a composer of contemporary classical music who is resident in London. A detailed biography can be seen: plus some interesting links. If you wish to hear some of Robert's music, there are regular performances both in London and around the World. Recent performances are listed here. You can also hear samples of his music online at Robert's complete catalogue is now for sale on-line at Spherical Editions. Robert is on Facebook.

You can buy some of Robert's music and CD's online from Robert's latest CD The Testament of Dr. Cranmer is now available from Divine Art

Hear Robert's motet Exaudi sung by London Concord Singers here.

Faith, Hope, Charity for violin and strings, played by the strings of the Chameleon Arts Orchestra, conductor Paul Brough. Listen to more of Robert's

Visit Planet Hugill

Robert's blog Planet Hugill contains regular reviews of concerts, CD's and operas by Robert and guest posters, along with concert previews, classical music news, interviews and feature articles on subjects as diverse as Handel opera, Bizet's Carmen and English opera in the 1950's.

My song, For David on his Birthday came 4th in the English Poetry and Song Society's Diamon Songs Competition. The song was premiered, along with those of the other winners, at a concert at the Colston Halls, Bristol in October 2013 given by Sarah Leonard (soprano) and Stephen Varcoe (baritone) with Nigel Foster (piano).

WHEN A MAN KNOWS - Stage production
'chilling...disturbing' - Margaret Davies in Opera Magazine, June 2011

My new opera When a man knows received its first stage performances at the Bridewell Theatre, London EC4 from 31st March to 2nd April 2011. The opera was directed by Ian Caddy, himself a distinguished bass-baritone, with lighting by Matt Haskins who recently work on Opera North's Turn of the Screw and who did the lighting for my first opera Garrett in 2001. Dario Dugandzic played the man, a role he created last year at the concert performances of the work, and Zoe South sang the woman with David Roblou again conducting.
More information can be found here and extracts on YouTube here. The opera was successfully premiered on Sunday 13th June at St. John's Church, Waterloo. FifteenB Productions gave concert a performance of the work, conducted by David Roblou. It was given a further performance on Saturday 21st August, at 3pm at Riverside Studios, Crisp Road, Hammersmith, as part of Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival. The play is based on a one-act play by Alan Richardson, and I have produced the libretto based on the play. The play is a taut dramatic two-hander and the opera keeps to this format, but I have added two extra singers who form a chorus.
Read a review of the performance on the Classical Iconoclast blog Here.

Hear excerpts from the most recent FifteenB concert here.

The Testament of Dr. Cranmer

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Robert has his own blog, Planet Hugill. And you can hear more of Robert's work on Sound Cloud.

The Chapelle du Roi, under their conductor Alistair Dixon, premiered my motet Videte Miraculum at their concert at St. John's Smith Square, London, on Saturday 19th December 2009. The concert was covered by both Ivan Hewett of the Daily Telegraph web-site and Seen and Heard, the concert was also in Mark Pappenheim's list of Top 10 concerts in The Independent.

'Robert Hugill's Videte Miraculum soared too, especially at its ending, with the three sopranos perched at a perilous altitude (to their credit, they never wavered).' - see full review at

'This had a lovely opening and a simple, well considered structure, with the harmonies based in tonality but moving gradually to build up tension through dissonance. Hugill made use of parallel and contrary motion to excellent effect, and motivic sections returned to give a sense of overall coherence. He also used a wide range of textures, including unisons, octaves and polyphony in different numbers of parts. This was another well written work which deserves further performances.' - see full review at Seen and Heard

London Concord Singers performance of Deus in Adjutorium on 10th July was reviewed by on the Seen and Heard web site.

'Robert Hugill’s Deus in adjutorium , one in a projected series of 70 motets - 35 of which have been completed so far - of settings of all the Introit texts for all the Sundays and major church festivals, used both the declamatory and the polyphonic. A solo tenor, well sung by Margaret Jackson-Roberts, one of two female tenors in the group, acting as a kind of narrator, leading the choir into a prayer to “Let my enemies be confounded…” with music that seems to be of the utmost simplicity, but is in fact well thought out and carefully designed to illuminate the words. How wonderful to hear a contemporary work where the composer actually cares about the text he is setting and writes music that is so grateful to sing. Hugill is himself a singer, and a member of this choir, so he knows how to write for the group's voices and this showed in every bar. This was my first hearing of Hugill’s music and it made me want to hear more.' Read the full review here.

The Testament of Dr Cranmer on Classical Source

“Hugill’s style is attractive and accessible, though far from anodyne… a practical church composer of real inspiration… an original, yet highly personable voice. Tenor Christopher Watson gives poised dignity… while Simon Baggs is equally eloquent. The strings of the Chameleon Arts Orchestra provide solid support. Conductor Paul Brough oversees proceedings with a precision and restraint that suites Hugill’s pellucid texture” – William Yeoman (Classical Source)

"[Christopher Watson's] beauty of sound appears effortless, yet he brings the impassioned moments directly to our attention with style. The eight voices of the ‘eight:fifteen’ vocal ensemble produce a radiant sound...Brough capably directs the two very different groups of musicians with considerable aplomb. This is a disc of initial unknowns, but the end result is delightful." - Will Dawes (Church Music Quarterly)

“A strong use of strings characterises this album, in the strong spiritual sense which runs through all the works. For example in Faith Hope and Charity the sublime music of the solo violin has the effect of easing troubled spirits.”- Francesca Guerrasio (ResMusica)

“Overall the music is sincere and communicative and it’s expertly performed. Several passages are searingly dramatic but there are a number of more meditative, prayerful sections. This well produced disc features committed performances from musicians who serve Robert Hugill well. The sound is excellent and the documentation, including notes by the composer, is very good” – John Quinn (MusicWeb)

“A well played performance, anyone with a hankering for getting deeper into some church oriented programs is well advised to open an ear in this direction.” - Chris Spector (Midwest Record ,USA)

“The Testament of Dr Cranmer, an interestingly made musical account of the close of Dr Cranmer's life… contains some beautifully taught harmonic pungency. The choral singers are excellent, and Christopher Watson has a most appealing tenor voice, featuring in two pieces with string orchestra. The four Latin motets from Hugill's collection Tempus per Annum, all must appeal to any church choir. The performances are excellent and the recording serves both singers and orchestra well and makes listening a pleasure.” - Patric Standford (Music & Vision)

Extracts of all the recent reviews are here

4th October 2013
St James's Piccadilly
Stephen Varcoe and Sarah Leonard
as part of EPSS concert
7th December 2013
St Johns Smith Square
Advent Prose
Chapelle du Roi, Alistair Dixon
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"You are a fresh and original composer and deserve all possible encouragement",Malcolm Williamson late Master of the Queen's Music

Site Last Updated 29th June 2013