Hugo Ticciati both plays violin and conducts. His musical projects are holistic, often drawing inspiration from literature, philosophy, and other fields. He has regularly performed new music written expressly for him.
Ticciati was born in Britain on April 12, 1980. His grandfather was a composer, and he grew up in a musical household; conductor Robin Ticciati is his younger brother. Ticciati took up the violin at five and excelled as a student at St Paul's School, winning admission to Cambridge. However, as he told The Cusp "I had pain everywhere, in my back, my neck, my hands." He stopped playing until he met violinist Nina Balabina, who lived on the outskirts of Stockholm with her husband. Ticciati moved in with them, practicing the violin for ten hours a day (measured with a stopwatch), reading extensively (the Hindu Bhagavad Gita scripture remains a favorite), and rarely leaving the house for four years; he dubbed himself "Hugo the Hermit." When he emerged, he won the Mendelssohn Cup in 2004 as well as several other competitions. He embarked on world touring, although some of it was of an unconventional sort: he spent two weeks playing the works of Bach for monks in an Indian ashram. Ticciati has continued to live in Sweden, and in 2011 he founded the chamber orchestra O/Modernt, whose name means "not modern." The group performs at an annual festival in Stockholm organized around the music of a single composer; rethinking that composer's work and often mixing it with other music, whether classical or not (Led Zeppelin has appeared on O/Modernt concerts). Such composers as Erkki-Sven Tüür, Peteris Vasks, and Sven-David Sandström have written new music for Ticciati and O/Modernt. Ticciati has often appeared at European chamber music festivals. He has released a solo album, Sonic Philosophy (2014), as well as several albums with O/Modernt, such as From the Ground Up: The Chaconne (2019). In 2019, he was appointed conductor of the Orchestra da Camera di Perugia in Italy.