Hugh Desmond (1986) is freelance violinist and a FWO doctoral researcher in philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven. Having completed a M.A. ‘magna cum laude’ under Yuzuko Horigome at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, he subsequently studied at the CNSM of Paris under Michaël Hentz, finishing in 2011. He combined his degrees in music performance with academic degrees, first in theoretical physics (B.S. 2007) and then in philosophy (B.A 2008; M.A. 2010; MPhil 2011). During academic year 2012-13 he was a B.A.E.F. fellow at Princeton University, collaborating with prof. Mark Johnston.
While currently mainly active as a freelance violinist and chamber musician, in 2013 he won second prize at the 10th International Music Competition Premio Citta’ di Padova, and will be giving concerts in Padova and Venice in the concert season 2013-2014. Before that he was laureate of a number of national competitions, such as the Axion Classics in 2004 and 2005. As a chamber musician he has been part of the newly formed piano trio ‘Dry Coppe’, which since 2012 has been regularly performing in venues across Belgium.
He regularly plays with the major orchestras of Belgium, such as the Brussels Philharmonic, and leads the second violins in Collegium Frascati, a chamber orchestra in Belgium.
In the past, during his conservatory training, he participated in many summer festivals and masterclasses, the most recent and prestigious of which was in 2011 when, on invitation of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, he was chief concertmaster of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, working in close collaboration with Pierre Boulez, David Robertson, Susanna Mälki and Peter Eötvös.