leader & violin
Monica Huggett was born in London, the fifth of seven children. In order to differentiate herself from her piano-playing siblings, she took up the violin at age six. Her talent became apparent quickly and, by the age of 12, it had been decided that she would become a violinist.
At age 16, she entered the Royal Academy of Music as a student of Manoug Parikian. Although she did well and won several prizes, she was not entirely comfortable with her instrument until she was given a baroque violin to try. She was immediately won over by the mellow quality of the gut strings and became a fervent champion of the baroque violin.
From then on, Huggett has earned her living solely as a violinist and arts administrator, currently serving as the first artistic director of The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program. Huggett continues as artistic director of both the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the Portland Baroque Orchestra.
Huggett has given master classes in Banff, Dartington, Vicenza, Dublin and Medellin, and has been Professor of Baroque Violin at the University of the Arts Bremen in Germany and the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. Her expertise in the musical and social history of the Baroque era is unparalleled among performing musicians.
Among her recent prizes are the Vantaa Baroque Energy Prize (Finland) (2005), Gramophone’s Best Instrumental Recording Award, for Heinrich Biber’s Violin Sonatas (2002), and the Diapason d’Or for early versions of the JS Bach Four Orchestral Suites in the CD release from Sonnerie Music for a Young Prince (2009).