Meet the Finalists – Hugo


We caught up with Hugo Mak, one of our fab four finalists for 2020 ERSO Soloist of the Year

What is your main occupation at the moment?

I am currently a postgraduate student at the Royal Academy of Music, studying bassoon with professor Robin O’Neill. I am also on trial with the BBC Philharmonic as sub-principal bassoon.

What are your ambitions for the future?

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  Mark Twain.

As a passionate musician, I hope to perform in a professional orchestra full-time.

What made you choose to play your instrument and how old were you when you started?

I played the violin before switching to the bassoon when I was 15. There was a lack of bassoons in the school’s orchestra so I picked up the school’s rusty instrument and started finding my way around the complicated keywork. I have never regretted the change as I find the bassoon much more rewarding to play!

What made you choose the concerto that your will be playing?

For the bassoon there is not a lot of romantic repertoire, let alone concertos. This recently-discovered concerto attributed to Rossini is a lovely piece that I think deserves to be played more often.

What do you feel you would gain from the experience of winning this competition and playing your concerto with ERSO and Chris Stark?

Being a bassoonist we are usually hiding at the back of the orchestra, having the chance to perform as a soloist would be a wonderful opportunity!


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