Benjamin Hughes


College Orchestral Institute
High School Orchestral Institute

Benjamin Hughes, Principal Cello of the BBC Concert Orchestra, is one of the UK’s most dynamic and versatile cellists.  He has been Principal Cello of the BBC CO since 2007 and appears regularly on BBC Radio and Television as a soloist with the BBC CO. He has performed Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with Johannes Wildner and Gulda’s Cello Concerto with Keith Lockhart on BBC R3 and has also featured as a soloist at the BBC Proms. He is a regular guest soloist with the BBC Singers on recordings and broadcasts.

An avid chamber musician, he performed regularly with the Fibonacci Sequence at the Wigmore Hall, King’s Place, Conway Hall in London, and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Australia. Benjamin has recorded works by Messiaen, Schubert, Elgar, and Brahms with the Fibonacci Sequence for Deux-Elles and Dutton labels. In 2023 he performed in the Busan Chamber Festival, Korea which was broadcast on KTV.

In January 2024 he embarked on a recital tour of China performing and giving masterclasses across the country ending in Tianjin where he spent time working with students at the Tianjin Juilliard School.

As a Guest Principal Cellist, he has worked with many leading Orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, London, and with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Benjamin is Professor of Cello and Orchestral studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he has a Cello class and coaches students involved in the Academy's orchestral program. He was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2015 and an Honorary Member of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2005.

Aside from performing he has made two instruments; a natural acoustic variation on a Cello with an unusual body shape with which he won a national design competition. A semi-acoustic electric version followed and he performed on it in a BBC Radio 3 programme dedicated to the progress of electronic music called ‘Electronica’. Another performance as the electric cello soloist in performances of Planet Earth 2 live, at the Royal Albert Hall with Jessica Cottis and Hans Zimmer.