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Toby Hughes is a prominent double bassist, who has established himself as one of the UK's leading double bass soloists through his rich and diverse career.


Born in 1992, Toby embarked on his musical journey at a young age, displaying exceptional talent and dedication to his craft.

In 2009, at the remarkable age of sixteen, Toby Hughes was invited to study at the combined universities of Lausanne, Fribourg, and Sion under the guidance of Professor Božo Paradžik. His musical prowess quickly earned recognition, and in his second year at university, he was honoured with the prestigious 'Future Talent' Coombs Scholarship by the Duchess of Kent. This support paved the way for his continued musical education and in May 2011, Toby was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society's 'Julius Isserlis Scholarship,' solidifying his commitment to musical excellence.

The pursuit of music led Toby to Berlin in the autumn of 2011, where he studied under Matthew McDonald, the principal bassist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Toby returned to the U.K. in 2012 to further his studies with Juří Hudec at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and graduated in 2015 with the International Artists Diploma, marking the completion of a crucial phase in his musical education.

Toby's return to the U.K. was marked by numerous competitions wins and awards. In 2013, he claimed the title of 'Young Musician of the Year' from the Chandos Symphony Orchestra. in 2014, Toby made history by becoming the first double bassist to win the string section of the Royal Over-Seas League Competition. He went on to achieve first prize at the Bromsgrove International Competition in 2016 and the Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition in 2018.

Known for his dynamic and engaging performances, Toby Hughes has collaborated with renowned musicians and ensembles throughout his career. He has recorded and performed with cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and holds the position of bassist with London's 12 Ensemble. Toby also regularly performes with both Manchester Camerata and is principal bass Northern Ballet. 

Toby's presence in the classical music scene is further highlighted by his appearances on BBC Radio 3's 'In Tune' and his affiliation with the City Music Foundation since 2018. His impressive list of recital engagements includes performances at esteemed venues such as Wigmore Hall, St-Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall as well as venues across Europe. Toby's debut CD, released on the Champs Hill Record label in 2020 is a testament to his artistry. 

In addition to his performance career, Toby Hughes has contributed significantly to the repertoire for double bass, with commissions by composers including Leo Geyer and Ian Stevenson.

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