About This Performance
Musical America recently marveled at Stephen Hough’s “tightly fashioned programs…melodic jewels that twinkle and shine with a multi-faceted brilliance.” His astonishing career can be traced over three decades of satisfying SF Performances recitals witnessing his thoughtful selection of music, emotional resonance, and a style full of joy and wit.
MOMPOU: Cants Mágics
SCRIABIN: Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 53
LISZT: 3 Petrarch Sonnets, Dante Sonata
Robert and Ruth Dell
Named by The Economist as one of Twenty Living Polymaths, Sir Stephen Hough combines a distinguished career and a longstanding international following as a pianist with those of composer and writer. The first classical pianist to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honors 2014 and was awarded a Knighthood for Services to Music in the Queen’s Birthday honors 2022.
In the 2022–23 season Hough performs over 90 concerts across five continents. Recent and upcoming orchestral highlights include return appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, Orchestre National de Fance, Vienna Symphony, London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Finnish Radio, as well as with the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit and Houston symphonies, and the New York Philharmonic.
Mr. Hough is a regular guest at festivals such as Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Edinburgh, La Roque-d’Atheron, Aldeburgh and the BBC Proms, where he has made 29 appearances. In June 2020, he returned to London’s Wigmore Hall to give the UK’s first live classical music concert in a major venue since the nationwide lockdown earlier that year. Recent and upcoming recital highlights include a return to London’s Royal Festival Hall (International Piano Series) and performances at Caramoor and in Paris Sydney, Atlanta, Toronto, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and New York City’s 92nd Street Y.
Mr. Hough’s extensive discography of over 60 CDs on the Hyperion label has garnered international awards including the Diapason d’Or de l’Année, several Grammy© nominations, and eight Gramophone Awards, including Record of the Year and the Gold Disc. Recent releases include the complete piano concertos of Beethoven with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu; Brahms: The Final Piano Pieces; the complete Chopin Nocturnes; a Schumann recital; and Schubert Sonatas. His recording of Mompou’s Musica callada was released in early 2023.
As a composer, Stephen Hough has written for orchestra, choir, chamber ensemble and solo piano. Recent commissions include composing the commissioned work for the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, as piece that was performed by all 30 competitors, and his String Quartet No. 1 Les Six Recontres commissioned by the Takacs Quartet.
As a writer, Mr. Hough’s memoir Enough: Scenes from Childhood, is being published in 2023. It follows his collection of essays Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More, which won a 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society Award and was named one of the Financial Times’ Book of the Year 2019. Hough’s first novel, The Final Retreat, was published by Sylph Editions in 2018. He has also been published by the New York Times and in London in The Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and the Evening Standard. For seven years he wrote more than six hundred articles for his blog in The Telegraph, which became one of the most popular and influential forums for cultural discussion.
Stephen Hough resides in London and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, a Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, holds the International Chair of Piano Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, and is on the faculty of The Juilliard School in New York.