Hugo Santos
My name is Hugo Nóbrega Santos, born in the beautiful Madeira Islands (Portugal). I'm currently thirty-one years old and play tenor trombone. I started my musical studies at the age of six with my father, who was a conductor, composer, and music teacher. At the age of ten years, I applied to the Conservatory – School of Arts -- on Trombone and Piano. My first performance in a professional orchestra was at the age of eighteen, with the Madeira Classic Orchestra, as a trombonist. Some years later I started my Bachelor of Music (Trombone), at the School of Applied Arts in Castelo Branco, with the teacher, Alexandre Vilela.

Finally, I decided to travel to Holland for my Master’s degree. It was then that I had the chance to get to know the famous Ricciotti Ensemble, for the Scottish Fling. I just finished my Master on Trombone, at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague, with the teachers Pete Saunders, Brandt Attema and Tim Downing.

It can be said that one of my finest strengths is patience. Paramount for a stable performance and a calmer way of life, both in the music world and outside of it. Being an extremely sociable person, thriving in new environments and challenging situations, facing each and every occasion with a big smile on my face, is natural for me.

One of the main reasons for this is my eagerness to experience and establish contacts with new musicians from all around the world and to share cultures, ideas and diverse points of view. I also hope to learn from my new colleagues, while also trying to help them in any way possible.

Since I joined the Ricciotti Ensemble, each day touring with all of them has been simply unforgettable. The amount of work involved in this project is simply ‘insane’. During my three tours, I experienced so much in so little time. And once again, ‘insane’!

Touring with Ricciotti gives the word ‘tour’ a new meaning. From all the places we performed, such as jails, rehabilitation centers, primary schools, high schools, care centers, open public spaces ... (plenty more), the energy given to the audience is so powerful that everyone gets totally infected by it. Since many of the people for whom we performed had never in their life actually heard or seen an orchestra live, each performance became unique and very special.

Just a few months ago we performed the first half of the Cuban Tour. The repertoire is just so good. The musicians are so amazing. The guest artist is out of this world! Ramón Valle, the amazing Cuban piano player, blows the audience into another reality! Playing Salsa, Mambo, Reggeaton, Rumba, all these amazing Cuban music genres, plus all the classical music, he is without a doubt an incredible enrichment for any musician. And the fun while doing it never stops.

My expectations for Cuba? I constantly count the days until it becomes a reality! I have never been to Cuba, but just imagining myself there, in that incredible atmosphere, makes me so eager and anxious to play! I can’t really put it in words… Touring ten days long in a tropical paradise island, with such a rich culture, amazing people, huge history, and sending them our message through music, goes beyond any expectations I might have.

Ricciottiando hasta CUBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wish you all the best, hoping to see you in a future performance! Hugo Santos