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Our composer KARL HUGO

1 February 2018

The Musician for Figure Skaters and Artistic Swimmers

Karl Hugo began playing and composing on the piano as a child, creating his first concerto when he was barely a teenager. During this period, he had an epiphany while watching the movie Ice Castles: he would spend the rest of his life composing music for figure skating! In 1992, his dream came true with the release of his first piano album. He then met Ice Capades star Julie Brault with whom he filmed Broadway, an ambitious video combining piano and figure skating.

Inspired by Karl’s passion for figure skating and his grandiose musical style, Olympic champions Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler asked him to compose and perform original music live for their television production Dreams on Ice, an annual fundraising event broadcast on more than forty television stations for many years. This unique experience afforded Karl the pleasure of watching great figure skaters the likes of Ekaterina GordeevaNancy KerriganScott HamiltonBrian OrserYuka Sato, Elvis Stojiko and Kristi Yamaguchi grow and develop to the sound of his music.

It was during this period that Karl Hugo began collaborating with Hugo Chouinard of Studio Unisons (sk8mix), musical designer specializing in figure skating, synchronized swimming and dancing. This fruitful 27-year partnership has never stopped renewing itself with the seasons of sport and new generations of athletes.

Karl Hugo’s recent music video featuring Shiyue Wang & Xinyu Liu and singer Junshu Zheng

After coming to the attention of IMG in New York, Karl Hugo was invited to play his compositions at professional ice-skating shows such as Champions on Ice and Skate the Dream, always accompanied by his transparent Kawai piano. He also wrote music for ice dancers such as Isabelle & Paul DuchesnayIsabelle Delobel & Olivier Schoenfelder and Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon.

With his experience, he then offers his services to new generations of figure skaters and synchronized swimmers, athletes and teams such as Miki AndoPatrick ChanThe HaydenettesMadison Hubbell & Zachary DonohueHong Chen & Yan ZhaoMarigol IceUnityGracie GoldYuzuru HanyuSara Hurtado & Adrian DiazCathy Reed & Chris ReedAdam RiponJoannie RochetteThe RockettesJulianne Séguin & Charlie Bilodeau, Les SuprêmesSynchro Brazil, Synchro Canada and Kim Yu-na.

At the 2018 Winter Olympics, Karl Hugo lent his talents as a composer, arranger, orchestrator and performer to a number of figure skaters including Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte (Italy), Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford (Canada), Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier (Canada), Marie-Jade Lauriault & Romain Le Gac (France), Kavita Lorenz & Joti Polizoakis (Germany), Kaetlyn Osmond (Canada), Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron (France), Ryom Tae-ok & Kim Ju-sik (North Korea), Denis Ten (Kazakhstan), Bradie Tennell (USA), Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (Canada), Shiyue Wang & Xinyu Liu (China) and Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje (Canada).

Karl Hugo pays tribute to figure skaters at the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games

Although due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 World Figure Skating Championships were unfortunately canceled, Karl Hugo still lent his musical talents to the following selected figure skaters: Jin Boyang (China), Daniel Grassl (Italy), Shoma Uno (Japon), Alicia Pineault (Canada), Maé-Bérénice Méité (France), Bradie Tennell (USA), Holly Harris & Jason Chan (Australia), Laurence Fournier-Beaudry & Nikolaj Sørensen (Canada), Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha (Canada), Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron (France), Marie-Jade Lauriault & Romain Le Gac (France), Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson (Great Britain), Misato Komatsubara & Tim Koleto (Japon), Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker (USA), Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue (USA), Madison Chock & Evan Bates (USA) and Tiffany Zahorski & Jonathan Guerreiro (Russia). Note that the music of all programs for the Worlds would have been the same as that heard in the 2019-2020 season.

Returning to his solo career, Karl Hugo launched back to back Blue Sparkles and Red Sparkle albums in which he performed 24 of his original compositions on the piano accompanied by an orchestra. Karl’s vast musical repertoire is aired in over one hundred countries around the world on prestigious TV networks such as ABCBBC OneCBCDisney ChannelDisney Channel AsiaFox JapanIndosiarMediaCorp Channels 5 & 8TelemundoTVATF1 and Zee Café India.