Stephen Hough is regarded as a renaissance man of his time. Over the course of his career he has distinguished himself as a true polymath, not only securing a reputation as a uniquely insightful concert pianist but also as a writer and composer. Mr. Hough is commended for his mastery of the instrument along with an individual and inquisitive mind which has earned him a multitude of prestigious awards and a long-standing international following.
In 2001 Mr. Hough was the first classical performing artist to win a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He was awarded the 2008 Northwestern University’s Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano, won the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award in 2010 and in January 2014 was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth in the New Year’s Honors List. He has appeared with most of the major European and American orchestras and plays recitals regularly in major halls and concert series around the world. His recent engagements include recitals in Chicago, Hong Kong, London, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Paris, San Francisco, and Sydney; performances with the Czech, London, Los Angeles, and New York Philharmonics, the Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, St. Louis, Houston and Toronto symphonies, and the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Budapest Festival and Russian National Orchestras; and a performance televised worldwide with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle. He is also a regular guest at festivals such as Aldeburgh, Aspen, Blossom, Edinburgh, Hollywood Bowl, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Verbier and the BBC Proms, where he has made over 20 concerto appearances, including playing all of the works written by Tchaikovsky for piano and orchestra over the summer of 2009, a series he later repeated with the Chicago Symphony.
Highlights of the 2013-14 season include engagements in North America with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras and the Atlanta, Montreal, Pittsburgh and National symphonies; and recitals in Toronto, Portland OR, Santa Barbara, Phoenix, Calgary and at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. In Europe, Mr. Hough opens the 2013 Proms season playing Rachmaninoff and Lutoslawski in a live BBC television broadcast. He is Artist-in-Residence with the BBC Philharmonic and performs with orchestras including the Netherlands Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Royal Philharmonic and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. In the fall of 2013 Hyperion released Mr. Hough’s recording of the two Brahms Piano Concertos with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra under Mark Wigglesworth. Mr. Hough is also the featured artist in an iPad app on the Liszt Piano Sonata, which includes a fully-filmed performance and was released by the cutting-edge, award-winning company Touch Press.
Many of Mr. Hough’s catalogue of over 50 albums have garnered international prizes including the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d’Or, Monde de la Musique, several Grammy nominations, 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-Saens Piano Concertos as the best recording of the past 30 years. His 2012 recording of the complete Chopin Waltzes received the Diapason d’Or de l’Annee, France’s most prestigious recording award. His 2005 live recording of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos was the fastest selling recording in Hyperion’s history, while his 1987 recording of the Hummel concertos remains Chandos’ best-selling disc to date. Other recent releases include the piano concertos of Grieg and Liszt with Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, “Broken Branches: Compositions by Stephen Hough”, and “Stephen Hough’s French Album” featuring works by Faure, Ravel, Debussy, Poulenc and Mr. Hough’s own arrangements of works by Massenet and Delibes.
Published by Josef Weinberger, Mr. Hough has composed works for orchestra, choir, chamber ensemble, and solo piano. His Mass of Innocence and Experience and Missa Mirabilis were respectively commissioned by and performed at London’s Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral. In 2012, the Indianapolis Symphony commissioned and performed Mr. Hough’s own orchestration of Missa Mirabilis, which was subsequently performed by the BBC Symphony as part of Mr. Hough’s residency with the orchestra. Mr. Hough has also been commissioned by the musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic, London’s National Gallery, Wigmore Hall, Le Musée de Louvre and Musica Viva Australia among others and he has performed his two piano sonatas, Sonata No. 1 (broken branches) and Sonata No. 2 (notturno luminoso) on recital programs in London, New York, St. Paul and Chicago.
A noted writer, Mr. Hough has regularly contributed articles for The Guardian, The Times, The Tablet, Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine and was invited by The Telegraph in London in 2008 to start a blog that has become one of the most popular and influential forums for cultural discussion. His book, The Bible as Prayer, was published by Continuum and Paulist Press in 2007.
Mr. Hough resides in London and is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music and holds the International Chair of Piano Studies at his alma mater, the Royal Northern College in Manchester. To find out more about Mr. Hough, please visit his website www.stephenhough.com or Facebook fan page.