Jack Hughes, composer

Jack Hughes headshot

Composer Jack Hughes is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, where his principal teachers have been Augusta Read Thomas, Sam Pluta, Shulamit Ran, and Marta Ptaszyńska. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2014 as a double major in theory and composition, studying in the studio of Keith Fitch. He has recently composed works for Volti (as the recipient of their 2016 Choral Arts Lab), the Imani Winds and the Bozzini quartet. Jack served as the Composer Fellow of the Canton Symphony Orchestra for the 2013-2014 season, and his work Ripple for pierrot ensemble was awarded a 2016 BMI student composer award. A native of Reston, Virginia, he plays the trumpet, piano, and viola.

Jack Hughes' piece Dream Labyrinths was premiered by the Grossman Ensemble on  March 15, 2019

Performance notes:

One of the goals of this piece is to bring various musical dualities into conversation with one another. Tonality and atonality exist side by side, pitch is often melded together with noise into a single sonority, sharply formed musical objects are contrasted with nebulous and hazy sounds, and an almost obsessive sense of forward motion and development alternates with a more meandering and capricious flow of ideas. I wanted to create a music that sounded simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar in a way that mimicked the flow of a dream. While dreaming we obtain an incredible openness, implicitly accepting every image or event without judgment. It is only upon waking that we realize the strangeness of our dreamworld, which has already become a quickly-fading memory. My compositional process was guided not by a desire for narrative coherence or a structural rigor but by a complete acquiescence to the sense of flow: the forward motion that guides us through the labyrinth like a thread.

Grossman Ensemble premieres Jack Hughes's "Dream Labyrinths"