‘Savage cuts suggest a cadre of bosses has forgotten what public service broadcasting is’. Thus, Paul Hughes in May 2023 on the subject of classical music in the BBC stepped down from a distinguished after 23 years as Director of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers, which was threatened respectively with drastic cuts and abolition.
Born in Malvern, he began piano lessons at the age of eight, and continued his education at King’s School in Worcester – not as a chorister, but as an 11-plus boy.
A graduate of Trinity College of Music where he studied piano, composition and conducting, he came to the BBC following key roles with the Academy of Ancient Music (General Manager), IMG Artists, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Chief Executive) and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra (General Manager).
In recent years, Paul has led matters on the design of a new studio complex for BBC ensembles, currently under construction on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the site of the 2012 Olympic Games, and due to open in 2025.
A former Governor of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he is guest lecturer at several of the UK’s leading conservatories, mentoring young conductors and composers, and lecturing on programming.
He now lives in Malvern – well placed for one who is on the board of the Three Choirs Festival, and his hobbies are cooking and hiking (practically mandatory, he says, when you live at the foot of the Malvern Hills).