Stephen Hough
Piano

“Stephen Hough’s steady ascent to the summit of his profession exhibits equally supreme mastery of his instrument and the deep humanity from which it has flowered.” (International Record Review)

Contacts

Jane Brown +44 (0)20 3725 9129
Elise Jennings +44 (0)20 3725 9135
David Hooson +44 (0)20 3725 9116

Biography

Highlights of Stephen Hough’s 2016/17 season include performances with the New York Philharmonic, St Louis Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Staatskapelle Weimar, the Hallé, and the City of Birmingham Symphony, Iceland Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Malaysian Philharmonic orchestras. Recent highlights have included appearances with the Cleveland, Finnish Radio Symphony, London Philharmonic and New Zealand Symphony orchestras and in recital at London’s Barbican Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Highlights of Stephen Hough’s 2016/17 season include performances with the New York Philharmonic, St Louis Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Staatskapelle Weimar, the Hallé, and the City of Birmingham Symphony, Iceland Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Malaysian Philharmonic orchestras. Recent highlights have included appearances with the Cleveland, Finnish Radio Symphony, London Philharmonic and New Zealand Symphony orchestras and in recital at London’s Barbican Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Hough was appointed CBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours. A laureate of the MacArthur Fellowship and Royal Philharmonic Society Award, his catalogue of over sixty CDs has garnered accolades including eight Gramophone Awards. His celebrated iPad app The Liszt Sonata was released by Touch Press in 2013. As a composer, he has been commissioned by Wigmore Hall, Musée du Louvre, London’s National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. He premieres his latest work, the song cycle Dappled Things, at Wigmore Hall in London in October 2016.

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Contacts

Jane Brown +44 (0)20 3725 9129
Elise Jennings +44 (0)20 3725 9135
David Hooson +44 (0)20 3725 9116

Reviews

“The man is an intellectual and physical pianistic powerhouse. He raises more issues and questions per piece than almost any other pianist I know. He flings out challenges to preconceptions. And he educates with every phrase. It was all of these things and more in Hough’s mesmerising probe into the heart and soul of [Schubert’s Sonata in A minor]. What we were hearing, in effect, was a masterclass in musical analysis and perception.” (Michael Tumelty, The Glasgow Herald, August 2016)

“It’s hard not to be a little awestruck by the breadth of Stephen Hough’s passions, to say nothing of his talents. [He] is simply one of the most interesting musicians around.”(David Weininger, Boston Globe, May 2015)

“Whatever Stephen Hough plays, he either distils its essence or finds something strikingly new to say about it, and so it was with his Debussy and Chopin programme. He delivered La plus que lente with a languid silkiness, hands seeming to sink onto the keys rather than striking them, and with Estampes created exquisite impressionism. To Chopin’s Ballades he brought his particular perfectionism, which resides in the scrupulous shaping of every phrase and weighing of every note.” (Michael Church, The Independent, April 2015)

“The man is an intellectual and physical pianistic powerhouse. He raises more issues and questions per piece than almost any other pianist I know. He flings out challenges to preconceptions. And he educates with every phrase. It was all of these things and more in Hough’s mesmerising probe into the heart and soul of [Schubert’s Sonata in A minor]. What we were hearing, in effect, was a masterclass in musical analysis and perception.” (Michael Tumelty, The Glasgow Herald, August 2016)

“It’s hard not to be a little awestruck by the breadth of Stephen Hough’s passions, to say nothing of his talents. [He] is simply one of the most interesting musicians around.”(David Weininger, Boston Globe, May 2015)

“Whatever Stephen Hough plays, he either distils its essence or finds something strikingly new to say about it, and so it was with his Debussy and Chopin programme. He delivered La plus que lente with a languid silkiness, hands seeming to sink onto the keys rather than striking them, and with Estampes created exquisite impressionism. To Chopin’s Ballades he brought his particular perfectionism, which resides in the scrupulous shaping of every phrase and weighing of every note.” (Michael Church, The Independent, April 2015) 

“Schumann’s Piano Concerto, with Stephen Hough as soloist, had been a performance of such startling freshness and clarity that one of the most familiar of all 19th-century piano concertos seemed totally reimagined, with the sweep and vigour supplied by Andris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as the perfect foil to Hough’s cool brilliance.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, November 2014)

“The playing really caught fire in Liszt’s Piano Concerto No.1. Who knows how Liszt must have attacked the piano part; but it would be difficult to imagine pianism of darker terror, fiercer energy or more eye-blinding brilliance than that presented by Stephen Hough.” (Hilary Finch, The Times, February 2014)

“Whether he played Schumann, Brahms, Chopin or himself, jaws dropped at the subtleties of touch and articulation, the poetic phrasing, emotional volatility, the easy summoning of rainbow sonorities across the instrument’s range.” (Geoff Brown, The Times, January 2013)

“Hough's playing has such authority and panache, its balance between virtuosity and vividly communicated expression so finely judged, that every perfectly scaled moment is as intensely realised as every other. Few other pianists around today play Chopin with as much understanding and poised mastery as this.” (The Guardian, July 2011)

“Stephen Hough’s recital in the church at Verbier included a pellucid account of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ sonata, a magnificent one of Liszt’s sonata, and an intriguing performance of his own ‘Broken Branches’ sonata. As Britain’s leading pianist, Hough commands close attention whatever he plays.” (The Independent, July 2011)

“Hough's performance was tremendous, balancing muscle with intelligence, stamina with wit. Showy flourishes were left hanging like questions or dispatched with insouciance; the finale was carried by mounting exhilaration.” (The Guardian, January 2011)

“Two hours of the most devastating clarity of pianism I have witnessed. When Hough is in this form he cannot be rivalled ... A colossal recital.” (The Glasgow Herald, December 2009)

“Hough and the Minnesota Orchestra dispatched Tchaikovsky's Concert Fantasia with stunning virtuosity, vigorously elevating a piece that languishes in symphonic obscurity ... This is a prodigious piece of music that shows off Hough's fierce strength, his disciplined articulation, delicate clarity, dexterity and passion.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune, September 2009)

“The piano concerto brought Stephen Hough to the crest of his Tchaikovsky series, and once again demonstrated his ability to strip the Romantic Russian repertoire of its sentimental gloop without sacrificing its thunder. In the most fevered moments, Hough erupted, mixing unrestrained passion with purposefulness; yet it was in the quietest exchanges with the orchestra that he drew us in most irresistibly.” (The Guardian, August 2009)

Discography

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