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Musical World

Stephen Hough

  • Composer
  • Pianist
  • Teacher


In 2009 Stephen Hough played recitals in the Royal Festival Hall as well as becoming the first British instrumentalist to give a solo recital on the main stage of Carnegie Hall in nearly 20 years.  He also performed all of the works for piano and orchestra of Tchaikovsky over four BBC Proms and will return to the Chicago Symphony in 2010/11 to play the same Tchaikovsky cycle over six concerts.  Other engagements include appearances with the orchestras of Pittsburgh, Madrid, Los Angeles, Budapest, Montreal, Houston, Gothenberg, Cleveland and Philadelphia, amongst others.

An exclusive Hyperion recording artist, many of Stephen Hough’s catalogue of over 50 CDs have garnered international prizes, including the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d’or, Monde de la musique, several Grammy nominations, and eight Gramophone Magazine Awards, including ‘Record of the Year’ in 1996 and 2003, and the Gramophone ‘Gold Disc’ Award in 2008, which named his complete Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos as the best recording of the past 30 years. His 2005 live recording of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos became the fastest selling recording in Hyperion's history, while his 1987 recording of Hummel concertos is Chandos' best-selling disc to date. His most recent releases are the Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra by Tchaikovsky with the Minnesota Orchestra led by Osmo Vänskä, and a Chopin recital: 'Late Masterpieces'.

Stephen Hough is also an avid writer and composer. In addition to scholarly and critically-acclaimed CD liner notes and articles for music publications, he has written for The Guardian, The Times, and was invited by the Telegraph Media Group in December 2008 to start a cultural blog. Hough has written extensively about theology for the print media and has been interviewed on two special guest-edited episodes of BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Baroness Shirley Williams. Hough’s book, The Bible as Prayer, was published by Continuum and Paulist Press in 2007.

Earlier in 2007, Hough’s cello concerto 'The Loneliest Wilderness' was premiered by Steven Isserlis and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and two choral works - Mass of Innocence and Experience and Missa Mirabilis - were performed at London’s Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral respectively. In January 2009, Hough’s trio, Was mit den Tränen geschieht, commissioned by members of the Berlin Philharmonic, received its world premiere at the Berlin Philharmonie. A string sextet, Requiem Aeternum: after Victoria, was commissioned by the National Gallery for their major autumn 2009 exhibition, The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700. Hough has also published numerous compositions with Josef Weinberger Ltd.

A resident of London, Stephen Hough is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds the International Chair of Piano Studies at his alma mater, the Royal Northern College in Manchester.