Hugo Bell is a composer, performer and installation artist based in South London. He has worked with ensembles such as Britten Sinfonia, Ensemble Oerknal, United Instruments of Lucilin, New European Ensemble, Decibel, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Cobalt Duo, Genesis Sixteen and The Tallis Scholars, and has collaborated with performers such as Ere Lievonen, Jacob Lekkerkerker, Gloria Yehilevsky and Tom Pickles.

His works have been presented across Europe and North America with notable appearances at festivals such as Gaudeamus Muziekweek (2020 & 2021), Mixtur (2021), Rainy Days (2020), CODA (2018) and Cheltenham Music Festival (2015). Hugo’s awards include The Conlon Foundation Prize (2021), Britten Sinfonia’s Opus 1 (2021), The Philip Bates Prize (2017) and NCEM & BBC Young Composer Award (2014).

Coming from a background in performance, his practice is heavily reliant on collaboration whether it be a traditional composer-performer relationship or a composer-composer/artist relationship. Hugo has collaborated with musicians and artists from a wide variety of creative backgrounds including early music practitioners, visual artists, electronic musicians and instrument builders.

A common theme across many of his works is the exploration of unorthodox playing techniques in pursuit of new acoustic timbres. Often incorporating elements of algorithmic composition into his music, Hugo’s works aspire towards complex sonic results through simple means. One of his main areas of current artistic research is new approaches to notation and his scores often use ‘action-notation’ where events are depicted through a combination of graphics and text to guide performers towards a desired result.

Hugo began his musical career as an aspiring organist and conductor studying at Newcastle University and Gothenburg Academy of Music, during which period he was awarded the Lawrence Phelps Recital Award (2011). After completing his undergraduate studies, his infatuation with contemporary music led him to start composing. After two years of private lessons he was awarded a scholarship to study composition at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and afterwards went on to study at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. His teachers have included James Weeks, Ed Bennett, Howard Skempton, Silvia Borzelli, Seán Clancy, Cornelis de Bondt and Peter Adriaansz. He has participated in masterclasses with composers such as Michael Finnissy, Christopher Trapani, Brian Ferneyhough and Carola Bauckholt.