Stephen Hough is widely regarded as one of the most important and distinctive pianists of his generation. From highly acclaimed performances of central repertoire in recital, in recording, and with the world's greatest orchestras to an interest in contemporary and neglected 19th century works, he integrates the imagination and pianistic colour of the past with the scholarship and intellectual rigour of the present, illuminating the very essence of the music he plays. He was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2001 in recognition of his achievements, joining prominent scientists, writers and others who have made unique contributions to contemporary life.
Since winning first prize in the Naumburg International Piano Competition in 1983, Stephen Hough has appeared with many of the major American and European orchestras under conductors including Abbado, Ashkenazy, Dohnányi, Dutoit, Gergiev, Levine, Maazel, Oramo, Rattle, Salonen, Temirkanov, Tilson Thomas, Vänskä and Wigglesworth. He gives recitals regularly in major halls and concert series around the world and is a frequent guest at festivals such as Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Blossom, Hollywood Bowl, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh and the BBC Proms, where he has made over a dozen concerto appearances. Recent engagements include performances with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, London Symphony, London Philharmonic and the orchestras of Detroit, Cincinnati, Toronto, Dallas and Houston.
During the 06/07 season, Mr. Hough returns to the Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras and the San Francisco, St. Louis, Montreal, Atlanta, Vancouver and Indianapolis symphonies; makes his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic; and appears in recital in London, Toronto, Denver, Portland OR, Santa Barbara and at Lincoln Center.
Stephen Hough is a Hyperion recording artist and many of his catalogue of over 40 CDs have garnered international prizes. Concertos by Rachmaninoff, Saint-Säens, Hummel, Scharwenka and Sauer, Mompou's solo piano music, and two Liszt's recitals have won multiple awards, from Gramophone Magazine (seven Awards including 'Record of the Year' in 1996 and 2003), Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d'Or, Monde de la Musique, as well as several Grammy nominations. His 2005 'live' recording of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos with the Dallas Symphony and Andrew Litton became the fastest selling recording in Hyperion's history, while his 1987 recording of Hummel concertos is Chandos' best-selling disc to date. Future recording plans include a recording of the Brahms Piano Quintet with the Takács String Quartet in May 2007 and both Brahms Concertos with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Vladimir Jurowski.
Mr. Hough is also an avid writer and composer. In addition to scholarly and critically-acclaimed CD liner notes and published musical articles, his interest in theology has led to a book, The Bible as Prayer, which will be published by Continuum in Spring 2007. He has published numerous original works and transcriptions for piano with Josef Weinberger Ltd. and will conduct the world premiere of his cello concerto, The Loneliest Wilderness, with Steven Isserlis and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in
Strongly committed to performing and promoting contemporary music, George Tsontakis, Lowell Liebermann and James MacMillan are among the composers who have written, or will write, newly commissioned concertos for him. As a chamber musician, Mr. Hough has collaborated with many artists and friends including Steven Isserlis, Joshua Bell, Tabea Zimmermann and Michael Collins. He has also performed with the Emerson and Juilliard String Quartets and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet.
A resident of London, Stephen Hough is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds the International Chair of Piano Studies at his alma mater,
the Royal Northern College in Manchester.