A noted polymath, British-born Stephen Hough is distinguished as one of the greatest classical pianists of our time. While also mastering writing, painting, and composing, he has released over 50 albums and received a multitude of awards including four Grammy-award nominations, eight Gramophone awards, and the prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’Année. He was the first classical musician to win a MacArthur grant and The Guardian praised him for displaying “the most perfect piano playing conceivable.” In this program including one of his own compositions, Stephen Hough combines greatly lauded and powerful works for a passioned and skilled performance.
Stephen Hough, piano
Bach Chaconne from Violin Partita No. 2 in D Minor (arr. Busoni)
Chopin Piano Sonata in B-flat Minor, Op. 35
Stephen Hough Sonata for Piano No. 4 (“Vida Breve”)
Liszt Funérailles; Mephisto Waltz No. 4 (Bagatelle without tonality); Mephisto Waltz No. 1
Stephen Hough, piano
One of the most distinctive artists of his generation, Stephen Hough combines a distinguished career as a pianist with those of composer and writer. Named by The Economist as one of Twenty Living Polymaths, Hough was the first classical performer to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Year’s Honors.
Since taking first prize at the 1983 Naumburg Competition in New York, Hough has performed with the world’s major orchestras and given recitals at the most prestigious concert halls. He is a regular guest at festivals such as Salzburg, Aspen, Blossom, Tanglewood, Edinburgh, La Roque-d’Anthéron, and BBC Proms, where he has made more than twenty-five appearances.
Highlights of Mr. Hough’s 2018/19 season include performances at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, with The Cleveland and Minnesota orchestras, the Vienna Symphony, London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and the Halle, with which he also tours China. Recent highlights include appearances with the New York Philharmonic, and the San Francisco, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Detroit, St. Louis, Dallas, and Sydney symphonies. In 2018 he was Artist-in-Residence at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, performing a cycle of all five Beethoven concertos. Recent recitals include performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s Royal Festival Hall (International Piano Series), and in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Paris among others.
Hough’s extensive discography of over 60 CDs has garnered international awards including the Diapason d’Or de l’Année, several Grammy nominations, and eight Gramophone Awards including Record of the Year and the Gold Disc. Recent releases include solo piano works by Debussy, Hough’s Dream Album, and a live recording of Schumann and Dvořák’s piano concertos with Andris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, all for Hyperion Records. His award-winning iPad app The Liszt Sonata was released by Touch Press in 2013.
As a composer Hough has been commissioned by Wigmore Hall, Musée du Louvre, London’s National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, the Genesis Foundation, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Indianapolis Symphony, the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi, and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. His music is published by Josef Weinberger Ltd.
Stephen Hough’s first novel, The Final Retreat, was published by Sylph Editions in March 2018, and he has written for The New York Times, The Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian, and the Evening Standard. He is an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, a Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, holds the International Chair of Piano Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, and is on the faculty of The Juilliard School in New York.