Stephen Hough

Born in England, Stephen Hough has appeared with major North American and European orchestras since winning first prize in the 1983 Naumburg International Piano Competition. He is a regular guest at music festivals including Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Edinburgh, and the BBC Proms. Mr. Hough made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1990 and appeared here most recently in 2009. As the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Artist-in-Focus this season, he performs concertos by Hummel and Brahms and gives a solo recital at the Barbican. Other recitals include appearances at Carnegie Hall and Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. He returns to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Hong Kong and Royal Stockholm philharmonics, as well as major orchestras in Australia, Austria, and France.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Hough has collaborated with artists including Joshua Bell, Tabea Zimmerman, and Michael Collins; he has also performed with the Emerson and Juilliard string quartets and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. Mr. Hough’s writings on music and theology include The Bible as Prayer, published in 2007, and his byline has appeared in the Guardian, The Times of London, and the Daily Telegraph. Also a composer, he has published numerous original works and transcriptions for piano with Josef Weinberger Ltd. BIS Records released the all-Hough disc Broken Branches in 2011, and last year Mr. Hough premiered his second piano sonata, notturno luminoso, jointly commissioned by the University of Nottingham’s Lakeside Arts Centre, Minnesota’s Schubert Club, the Singapore International Piano Festival, the Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts, and the Vancouver Recital Society.

Stephen Hough’s more than fifty recordings have garnered four Grammy nominations and such awards as the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d’Or, Monde de la Musique, and eight Gramophone awards, including two Record of the Year awards and the Gold Disc. In 2011, his recording of the complete Chopin waltzes was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l’Année. In the same year, Mr. Hough’s recordings of Liszt’s Piano Sonata and Années de pèlerinage, Suisse were both selected as “Building a Library” top choices by BBC Radio 3. Hyperion Records released Stephen Hough’s French Album last year. Mr. Hough 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 of Music in Manchester. In 2001, he became the first classical performer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. He received the Northwestern University School of Music’s 2008 Jean Gimbel Lane prize in piano performance, won the 2010 Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award, served as Wigmore Hall’s artist-in-residence last season, and has been named one of twenty living polymaths by The Economist magazine. Last October, London’s Broadbent Gallery hosted the first exhibition of Hough’s paintings. For more information, visit

(February 2013)