Hugh Bean


Born: 1931; Beckenham, England  
This British musician was exceptionally talented as a youngster and has continued to have age on his side during his career, often a few steps ahead of his peers in terms of awards or accomplishments.

Hugh Bean received his first violin lessons at the age of five from his father, and at nine he was accepted as a pupil by Albert Sammons, with whom he continued studying for the next two decades, including his student years at the Royal
Read more College of Music. At 17 he was awarded the principal prize for violin from this school, and, following a year of study at the Brussels Conservatoire with Andre Gertler, he was awarded a double Premier Prix for both solo and chamber music playing. He was only 24 when he was first appointed a professor of violin at the Royal College of Music in London. In 1957, he became leader of the London Philharmonia Orchestra, which he later left to take on the same position with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and then the London Symphony Orchestra.

Having served as leader of three of his country's finest orchestras, he eventually stepped down to take advantage of the demand for him as a soloist and chamber music player. His major focus became work with the Music Group of London, a piano trio in which he played cello alongside violinist David Parkhouse and pianist Eileen Croxford. He made many recordings with this group and toured extensively in Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle and Far East, including four visits to China, and North and South America. The ensemble was active in performing new works by British composers, including premieres by Martin Dalby, Arthur Butterworth, and Frank Bridge.

In 1989, Bean returned to the Philharmonia Orchestra as co-leader and was later appointed leader emeritus. He has performed concertos with many leading orchestras throughout Europe and the United States, working with many famous conductors. One of his favorites was Arturo Toscanini, whom Bean claims completely changed the sound of the London Philharmonia with one stroke of his baton. His discography includes a superb recording of the Elgar Concerto for EMI with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under the leadership of Sir Charles Groves, and Vivaldi's Four Seasons with the Philharmonia Orchestra. One of his finest recordings of more contemporary music is Vaughan Williams' Lark Ascending with Sir Adrian Boult. He has also recorded the Violin Concerto of the Romanian composer George Enescu and has collaborated with jazz arranger and composer Michael Gibbs. During his more than four decades of teaching at the Royal College of Music he has been responsible for turning out at least 50 violinists who have gone on to positions in London orchestras, including several leaders. Read less

There are 16 Hugh Bean recordings available.

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