As a kind of European counterpart to Steve Coleman, Hugo Read has developed an independent way of playing and composing in which new jazz, elements of contemporary music and rhythmical energy, acoustic base and electronic additions are combined to a sound world of its own.
Read, who is regarded as a typical representative of the new European jazz generation, wants to cross borders between new classical music and jazz, and in addition he sees himself as a composer of mostly suite-like forms as a basis of his work.
From 1972 Read studied the flute at the Cologne College of Music with Prof. Ulrich and later classical saxophone with Prof. Buschmann. He passed with distinction his concert examination in 1982.
Since that time there have been international concert activities in the field of jazz and new classical music as well as productions of chamber music and as a soloist with orchestras (among other things Ensemble Modern, New Art Ensemble) with all major radio companies in Europe.
Since 1979 Read has cooperated with Karl Heinz Stockhausen, in several premieres (Milan Scala, Opera Leipzig, Opera Paris) as well as in numerous concerts and CD productions.
Read was on concert tours worldwide including different jazz groups, among others with: Lumpp/Read/Küttner in West Africa, Michael Küttner in East-/South-Africa, Rainer Brüninghaus and Trilok Gurtu in Australia/New Zealand, Brüninghaus/Read/Thönes in Israel, Manfred Schoof the former GDR, the Thierry Lang Quartet in Switzerland, the NDR Big Band in England/France, and Peter Weiss in Kuwait.
Several big tours he did with Riot and Kenny Wheeler, for example during the Berlin Jazz Days (Manfred Schoof), Munich Jazz Festival / Frankfurt Jazz Festival (Key), World Expo Seville (North Rhine-Westphalia pool), Kuwait Jazz Festival / Poznan Jazz Festival (H. Read quartet).
He also took part at the World Exhibition Hanover (M. Küttner), Jazz Festival Burghausen (Axis), Montreux Jazz Festival / Jazz Festival Zurich / Midem in 2001 Cannes (Thierry Lang Quartet), Jazz festivals in Manchester Paris/London/Rom (NDR Big Band).
Since 1996 there have been cooperations with the Swiss pianist Thierry Lang (CD NAN on BLUE Note Records) as well as with different ensembles together with the drummer Thomas Cremer (CD AXIS with Heiri Kenzig, Claus Stötter and Matthieu Michel), Electric Bundle with Stephan Schmolck, Silent Bass with Manfred Bründl.
In the mid-nineties Read started to play with his duet partner Peter Degenhardt (2 CDs with works from Hindemith, Ibert, Martin, Schulhoff, Bartok etc.).
On his own Hugo Read has presented, among other things, compositions for the NDR, SWF and WDR, forum 20 Düsseldorf, Composers orchestra, (Contrasts for string orchestra, 2 pianos and jazz ensemble) as well as the CD Songs of a Wayfarer on Nabel Records.
Hugo Read is an award winner of North Rhine-Westphalia for outstanding achievements in the field of jazz and contemporary music, and, since 1991, he has been a professor for saxophone and ensemble direction at the Folkwang-Hochschule Essen.
Further teaching includes activities at the summer academy in Neuburg, Master Class Montepulciano, as well as the saxophone symposium in Trossingen.