With an artistic vision that transcends fashions and trends, Stephen Hough is widely regarded as one of the most important and distinctive pianists of his generation. In recognition of his achievements, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001, joining prominent scientists, writers and others who have made unique contributions to contemporary life.
Hough has appeared with most of the major European and American orchestras and plays recitals regularly in the major halls and concert series around the world. He is a regular guest at festivals such as Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Edinburgh and the BBC Proms where he has made over 20 concerto appearances. In 2009, he performed Tchaikovsky’s complete works for piano and orchestra over four BBC Proms concerts, as well as becoming the first British instrumentalist to give a solo recital on the main stage of Carnegie Hall in nearly 20 years. In May 2010 he was named winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award.
Further recent highlights include performances with the New York, London, Los Angeles and Czech Philharmonics Orchestras the Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, San Francisco Symphonies, the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Russian National Orchestras, and a worldwide televised performance with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle. In the 2010/11 season, Hough performs the complete Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto cycle with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Budapest Festival Orchestra on a European tour celebrating the composer's Bicentenary.
Hough’s catalogue of over 50 CDs has garnered four Grammy nominations and eight Gramophone Awards, including "Record of the Year" in 1996 and 2003, and the Gramophone "Gold Disc" Award in 2008. His 2005 live recording of the Rachmaninov Piano Concertos became the fastest selling recording in Hyperion's history, while his 1987 recording of Hummel concertos remains Chandos' best-selling disc to date. His latest recordings, released in April 2010 on Hyperion, include a disc of Chopin’s late masterpieces and a two-disc set of Tchaikovsky’s complete concertos with the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä.
Hough is an avid writer and composer. He has written for The Guardian, The Times, and was invited by the Telegraph Media Group in 2008 to start what has become one of the most popular cultural blogs. Hough has also written extensively about theology and his The Bible as Prayer was published by Continuum in 2007. In January 2009 Hough’s trio Was mit den Tränen geschieht, commissioned by members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, received its world premiere at the Philharmonie. He has also written a String Sextet for the National Gallery’s major exhibition in autumn 2009, The Sacred Made Real. Hough has published numerous compositions with Josef Weinberger Ltd.
A resident of London, Stephen Hough is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music and holds the International Chair of Piano Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music.
© Grant Hiroshima
A Documentary by Allan Miller
Treasures of the Masterclass Media Foundation