Sir Stephen HoughPiano

Sir Stephen Hough

Tuesday, February 4, 2025 |  7:30pm

Herbst TheatreVenue Information


About This Performance

The first classical artist to be awarded the prestigious MacArthur “genius” Fellowship, Sir Stephen Hough brings powerful creative, interpretive and intellectual gifts to everything he performs. Throughout a remarkable career spanning four decades, he continues to infuse his performances with freshness, spontaneity, and wonder. “Hough invites us to embark with him on a magical mystery tour” (Gramophone).



CHAMINADE: Automne; Scarf Dance; Toccata; Theme Varie; Autre Fois, Les Sylvains
LISZT: Sonata in B Minor
CHOPIN: Sonata in B Minor

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Artist Information

Performer Biography

Named by The Economist as one of Twenty Living Polymaths, Sir Stephen Hough combines a distinguished career as a pianist and a longstanding international career with those of composer and writer. He was the first classical performer to be given a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2022 as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Hough became the first British-born pianist since 1977 to be awarded a Knighthood for Services to Music.

In a career spanning 40 years, Hough has played solo recitals and concertos with leading orchestras at major concert halls and festivals across five continents. Celebrating Rachmaninov’s 150th anniversary in 2023, Hough performed the composer’s five works for piano and orchestra, including his 30th appearance at the BBC Proms performing the First Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and a complete cycle in Brazil as the Artist in Residence of Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo. Additional recent and upcoming engagements include return appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, Orchestre National de France, London Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Finnish Radio and the Seoul Philharmonic as well as the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the New York Philharmonic and the Minnesota Orchestra, and the St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas and Houston symphonies in the US.

2024 sees the premiere of Hough’s own piano concerto, entitled The World of Yesterday, inspired by Stefan Zweig’s titular novel Die Welt von Gestern. Jointly commissioned by four orchestras, the concerto receives its World Premiere in Salt Lake City in January 2024 with Hough as the soloist performing with the Utah Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Donald Runnicles. The European premiere takes place at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester in May 2024 with The Hallé under Sir Mark Elder.

As a solo recitalist, Hough opens Wigmore Hall’s 2023–24 season in London, as well as in cities including Beijing, Mexico City, San Francisco, New York, Seoul, and Shanghai. In March 2024, Hough and the Castalian String Quartet embark on a six-city US tour, including New York and Washington DC, performing the Brahms Piano Quintet and Hough’s own String Quartet No.1 Les Six Rencontres.

Hough’s extensive discography of around 70 CDs 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 for Hyperion, now available to stream, include Beethoven’s complete piano concertos (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu), The Final Piano Pieces of Brahms, Chopin’s complete Nocturnes, a Schumann recital, Schubert Piano Sonatas, and Mompou’s Música callada. For Warner Classics, Hough recorded Elgar’s Violin Sonata with Renaud Capuçon, and an album of his choral music was released in 2023 on Orchid Records.

As a composer, Hough has written extensively for the voice and the piano. His most recent song cycle, Songs of Love and Loss, co-commissioned by Wigmore Hall, the 92nd Street Y in New York, and Tippet Rise in Montana, received its world premiere in January 2023. He wrote the commissioned work for the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which was performed by all 30 competitors, and Hough’s String Quartet No.1 Les Six Rencontres, commissioned and premiered by the Takács Quartet, was released by Hyperion Records in January 2023. Hough has also been commissioned by Musée du Louvre, London’s National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, the Genesis Foundation, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. His music is published by Josef Weinberger Ltd.

As an author, Hough’s memoir Enough: Scenes from Childhood was published by Faber & Faber in Spring 2023. It follows his collection of essays, Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More (Faber & Faber, 2019)—a 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society Award winner and one of Financial Times’ Book of the Year 2019—as well as his first novel, The Final Retreat (Sylph Editions, 2018). He has also been published by The New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and the Evening Standard. Hough is an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, a Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, 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.

Artist Video

Stephen Hough Playing Chopin Nocturne in F-sharp Major. Opt. 15, No. 2 at Hotel Bristol Vienna