Elliott-0011-colouradjust-crop-copyElliott Hughes is a composer and trumpet player, who combines interests in jazz, new music (contemporary classical) and electroacoustic music.  He has had his music performed in New York, Canada, Hong Kong and around Australia, including by leading ensembles such as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Bennetts Lane Big Band, and Syzygy Ensemble.

He released his debut recording in 2012 with his large ensemble Horizon Art Orchestra, a modified big band that specialises in presenting new (often challenging!) music.  

As a performer he has shared the stage with Dafnis Prierto, John Hollenbeck, Theo Bleckmann, Fred Wesley, James Morrison, Graham Lyall and Ross Irwin, in a variety of small and large ensembles.

He completed study at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (2006-09) and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (2011-12), and has been awarded a variety of prizes, grants and scholarships for his music.

Career Highlights:


  • West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence
  • And Then It Just Happens premiered by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
  • Awarded the Dorian Le Gallienne Award for excellence in composition, from Melbourne Conservatorium of Music


  • Attended the Banff Centre International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music, in Canada, directed by pianist Vijay Iyer, performing alongside Dafnis Prierto and Nicole Mitchell.
  • Presented a Horizon Art Orchestra concert as part of the New Music Network’s Mini Series, which featured pianist Tom O’Halloran and included three commissioned new works.
  • Accepted into Melbourne Symphony Orchestra ‘Cybec Emerging Composers’ program
  • Commissioned by the Melbourne Recital Centre to compose a new work for Syzygy Ensemble
  • Attended the Australian Youth Orchestra’s composers program, tutored by James Ledger, resulting in “All Already”, and performed in Elder Hall (Adelaide).
  • Awarded an ‘Artstart’ grant by the Australia Council
  • Played trumpet on Perth electro-folk band Anton Franc’s EP “All This Talk”
  • Commissioned work for Boroondara Brass Band


  • Debut CD release by Horizon Art Orchestra featuring my compositions
  • Electroacoustic work “That Time of Year” selected for performance as part of the Composers Voice series in New York
  • Commissioned to compose music for new contemporary theatre work “One Night Echo” produced by the Duck House theatre company and premiered in November 2012.  Four musicians performed the score live each night, and featured electronic processing, improvised sections and notated music.
  • Music performed by Divergence Jazz Orchestra (Sydney) and Melbourne Composers Big Band
  • Completed a Bachelor of Music Honours (Composition) degree at Melbourne University
  • Orchestral work “After Ivy” recorded by MCM Orchestra


  • Co-founded Horizon Art Orchestra to perform original music for modified big band.
  • West Australian Music Industry Jazz Song of the Year Award for “Another New Beginnings Again”
  • Shortlisted for Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra National Big Band Composition Competition with “Another New Beginnings Again”
  •  “House Hunt” performed in Hong Kong by trumpet player Adrian Kelly
  • Member of Mace Francis Orchestra, completing national tour and live recording
  • Music performed by Blackburn Big Band (Melbourne)
  • Arranged and recorded brass parts for Junior Bowles “I Feel Useless”


  • Awarded a JUMP Mentorship grant from the Australia Council  – through this Elliott completed a national tour as guest composer with seven of Australia’s leading large jazz ensembles and big bands, mentored by Mace Francis.  Elliott rehearsed and conducted each group through six of his compositions, and presented them in concerts in five cities.

The ensembles were: Bennetts Lane Big Band (Melbourne), West End Composers Collective (Brisbane), Mace Francis Orchestra (Perth), Mike Stewart Big Band (Adelaide), Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra, ATM15 (Melbourne), and Perth Jazz Orchestra.

  • Music performed by West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra



  • Awarded West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra Jack Bendat Scholarship
  • Completed Bachelor of Music Degree (Jazz/Composition) from West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, studying with Mat Jodrell, Jamie Oehlers, and Mace Francis.
  • Compositions and arrangements performed by West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra and WAAPA Big Band featuring Katie Noonan.