Newsletter January 2009
CBE for Owain Arwel Hughes 09 January 2009
CBE for Owain Arwel Hughes
Owain Arwel Hughes, OBE, the Principal Guest Conductor of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, has been awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in this year’s New Years Honours List for his contribution to music and charity.
In a career spanning 40 years, Owain Arwel Hughes has conducted and recorded many of the world’s leading orchestras.
In November 2007 he became the Principal Guest Conductor of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he conducted and recorded the world première of Schnittke’s monumental choral work, Nagasaki and Symphony No.0. During the 3rd Cape Town International Summer Music Festival which took place in November and December last year, he also made world première recordings of Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso – which was also performed live at the Festival with the CPO and soloists Sharon Bezaly (flute) and Christopher Cowie (oboe) – and Symphony No. 9 .
Commenting on being awarded the CBE, Maestro Hughes said he was “very proud to be the recipient of this wonderful honour, and look forward very much to an exciting year of music-making.”
He is currently back in Cape Town to conduct all four concerts of the CPO’s Summer Symphony Season, starting Thursday 15 January with a programme consisting of pianist Dvořák’s Carnival Overture, Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2. (soloist: Pallavi Mahidhara) and Sibelius’ Second Symphony.
As Founder and Artistic Director, Owain Arwel Hughes is the driving force behind the success of the Cardiff Welsh Proms. Inaugurated in 1986, it has become one of the major UK music festivals attracting orchestras and leading artists from around the world.
Committed to the highest level of music education for young people Owain Arwel Hughes also accepted the position of Music Director of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales in 2003, the oldest such youth orchestra in the world.
He has held the titles of Associate Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, London, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. As Principal Conductor of the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Denmark, he raised the orchestra’s profile with major recordings of Danish music. Acclaimed for his direction of large scale choral works Owain Arwel Hughes had a highly successful period as Conductor of the Huddersfield Choral Society between 1980 and 1986.