The British pianist Martin Hughes made his first appearance at London's Wigmore Hall at the age of twelve. At sixteen he entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in the class of Yvonne Lefébure. He went on to study at the Moscow Conservatory with Lev Oborin, and worked also in Aldeburgh with Benjamin Britten and in Positano with Wilhelm Kempff. In the age of twenty-two he debuted at the BBC-Proms. There followed tours to the USA, the USSR, Europe and Israel, together with invitations to many of Europe's broadcasting networks, and appearances with the London Symphony, the London Philharmonic and other major orchestras. A series of seven recitals on London's South Bank sponsored by the Kirckman Society established his critical reputation.
Martin Hughes's performances of Beethoven and Schubert have won him critical praise in many countries, and he has performed the piano sonatas of Beethoven and Schubert in complete cycles. Of Martin Hughes's article on the interpretation of Beethoven's piano music („Interpreting Beethoven" ed. Stowell, Cambridge University Press 1994) Paul Badura-Skoda wrote „Every pianist who is seriously interested in rendering the spirit of a Beethoven piano work ought to read it".
Formerly professor in the Piano Department at the Universität der Künste Berlin, Martin Hughes has given masterclasses for the University of Cambridge, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique Paris, as well as in the USA, Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, China and throughout Europe. In October 2002 he was appointed Professor at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien where he was for eight years chairman of the Solo Keyboard Institute. Since 2012 he is Visiting Professor at the Elisabeth University in Hiroshima, Japan.
„Meausured, lucid, serene, and above all, superlatively intelligent, Martin Hughes's piano recital at the Queen Elizabeth Hall yesterday was an artistic triumph, something for his audience to reeasure in their hearts and minds...few pianists show such an unerring sense of musical proportion or poetic refinement" (Bryce Morrison, The Daily Telegraph)