One of the most distinctive artists of his generation, Stephen Hough combines a distinguished career as a pianist with those of composer and writer. Named by The Economist as one of Twenty Living Polymaths, Hough was the first classical performer to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year’s Honours 2014.
Since taking first prize at the 1983 Naumburg Competition in New York, Hough has performed with many of the world’s major orchestras and has given recitals at the most prestigious concert halls. He is also a regular guest at festivals such as Aldeburgh, Aspen, Blossom, Edinburgh, Hollywood Bowl, Mostly Mozart, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Verbier, Chicago’s Grant Park, Blossom, and the BBC Proms, where he has made over 25 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.
Hough 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 and Lincoln Center, Paris, Boston, San Francisco, the Kennedy Center and Sydney; performances with the Czech, London and New York Philharmonics, the Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, St. Louis, National, Detroit, Dallas, Atlanta and Toronto symphonies, and the Philadelphia, Minnesota, Budapest Festival and Russian National Orchestras; and a performance televised worldwide with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle.
Many of Hough’s catalogue of over 50 albums have garnered international prizes including eight Gramophone Magazine Awards (and ‘Record of the Year’ in both 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.
Published by Josef Weinberger, 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.
A noted writer, Hough regularly contributes articles for The Guardian, The Times, The Tablet, Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine and wrote a blog for The Telegraph for seven years which became one of the most popular and influential forums for cultural discussion and for which he wrote over six hundred articles. His book, The Bible as Prayer, was published by Continuum and Paulist Press in 2007, and his first novel, The Final Retreat, was published in early 2018 by Sylph Editions.