School of Music

Dr. Richard Hughey
Richard Hughey

Office Location: 214 Sallee Hall
Office Phone: 309.298.1729
Title: Associate Professor, Director, Orchestral Actitivies
Visit: WIU Symphony Orchestra

Dr. Richard Hughey is Director of Orchestral Activities at Western Illinois University. Having started his musical education on the cello, he developed an early interest in orchestral conducting and began intensive score study of symphonic works from Vivaldi to Stravinsky. As a member of the local youth symphony, he had his first conducting experience with that orchestra at the age of 15. As a high school senior, he was awarded the first prize in the music category in the Utah statewide competition "Sterling Scholars". He later completed a Bachelor of Music cum laude at Utah State University with a major in Cello Performance and a minor in German. At the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, he completed a Master of Music degree magna cum laude, with a double major in Cello Performance and Orchestral Conducting as a student of Christian Tiemeyer. He then went on to the University of Arizona where he completed the Doctor of Musical Arts in Cello Performance under the tutelage of Gordon Epperson and a minor in Orchestral Conducting under Leonard Pearlman.

Following a year teaching at Fort Hays State University in Kansas, Dr. Hughey was named Assistant Conductor and Assistant Principal Cellist with the Omaha Symphony. In Omaha, he was also Principal Cellist and orchestra manager for Opera Omaha. From Nebraska, he moved to North Carolina where he served eight years as Music Director and Conductor of the Western Piedmont Symphony. There he also performed in the Western Piedmont String Quartet and directed over 800 in-school concerts during his tenure.

A strong interest in German culture, language and music, motivated Hughey to move to Germany in the fall of 1990, where he became Music Director of the Lausitzer Konzertorchester. In 1992, he was invited to become the artistic director and conductor of the University Orchestra at the University in Dresden. During the first few years of this responsibility he organized a new chamber orchestra, the TU-Kammerphilharmonie Dresden which was recognized by the press in Dresden as one of the finest orchestral ensembles in the city. During these years, he also formed the chamber orchestra Tonus, with members of the Sächsische Staatskapelle and the Dresdner Philharmonie. Also having a keen interest in Baroque performance practice, he took the opportunity to perform as a cellist in ensembles with some of the leading Baroque musicians of Germany.

Opera being also of significant interest to Hughey, he instigated a summer opera festival in the city of Cottbus, Federal State of Brandenburg, situated between Berlin and Dresden. Here he has performed lesser known masterworks of the composers Francesco Cavalli, Joseph Haydn, André Gretry, Georg Friedrich Händel, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart, Giovanni Paisiello and Reinhard Keiser. These performances were a platform for young exceptional vocal talent and many of the former participants now perform in many well-respected opera houses in Germany. In the summer of 2008, he directed performances ofDie Zauberflöte of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. In 2009 he directed performances of Die Zauberflöte and of Don Giovanni.

In March of 2011, along with the WIU Chamber Orchestra, he presented at the American String Teachers Association National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. This presentation focused on the Performance Practice of Baroque music.

Hughey is a member of MENC, The American String Teachers Association, The League of American Orchestras and Phi Kappa Phi.