OSO Soloist: Hugh McKenna
Hugh McKenna was born in 1949 in Woking, Surrey and played the Richard Strauss oboe concerto with us in 2006. He began his musical life playing the cornet in a local brass band, and eventually joined the army at the age of fifteen to continue his playing in the band of the Royal Fusiliers. Hugh went to the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall for a year before being posted to Gibraltar and Sharjah, near Dubai. When a vacancy for an oboist occurred Hugh, who was ready for a new challenge, volunteered to take up the instrument. After making rapid progress on the oboe, Hugh decided to leave the Army, and was accepted as a student at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Neil Black and Janet Craxton.
Hugh went on to join the Ulster Orchestra, the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, and then the Halle Orchestra, where he has been for over twenty years. During his time in Manchester, Hugh has taught at the Royal Northern College of Music. Many of his pupils have now followed Hugh in to the musical profession. In his spare time Hugh enjoys the sport of triathlon (he completed an Ironman triathlon in 2005) and ballroom dancing.
Concerts where Hugh McKenna played: