Wigmore Hall Festival: Sir Stephen Hough
DateTuesday, 12 Sep 2023
Price€30 - €45
CategoryWigmore Hall Festival
Named by The
Economist as one of Twenty Living Polymaths and the first classical
performer to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, Sir Stephen Hough presents a characteristically
varied programme, beginning with music by a Catalan composer he has championed,
and including the Irish premiere of one of his own works for piano – a look
into the past dating from 2019. Of a previous traversal of the Liszt pieces,
the Guardian praised his ‘spellbinding aura of intimacy’ and a ‘simply
blistering account of the sonata with its elements of fantasy.’
FEDERICO MOMPOU: Cants màgics
SCRIABIN: Sonata for Piano No. 5 in F-sharp major, Op. 53
STEPHEN HOUGH: Sonatina Nostalgica
LISZT: 3 Petrarch Sonnets from Années de Pèlerinage, Deuxième Année: Italie
LISZT: Après une lecture du Dante
Named by The Economist as one of Twenty Living Polymaths, Sir Stephen Hough combines a distinguished career as a pianist with those of composer and writer. He was the first classical performer to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year Honours 2014, and was awarded a Knighthood for Services to Music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022.
In the 2022/23 season Hough performs over 90 concerts across five continents. Concerto highlights include returns to the Concertgebouworkest, Detroit, Cincinnati and Washington’s National symphony orchestras, BBC Symphony and Philharmonia orchestras, and the National Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan.2023 Artist in Residence with Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Hough performs the complete Rachmaninov concertos in Brazil as well as in Australia with the Sydney and Adelaide symphony orchestras. He is also Artist in Association with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, with whom he tours the UK in Spring 2023. Recent highlights include the New York Philharmonic, Dallas and Atlanta symphony orchestras, Singapore and Finnish Radio symphony orchestras, Wiener Symphoniker, Orchestre National de France, London Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras.
Hough is a regular guest at festivals such as Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Edinburgh, La Roque-d'Anthéron, Aldeburgh, and the BBC Proms, where he has made 29 appearances. Recent recitals include Wigmore Hall (the UK’s first live classical music concert in a major venue following the 2020 nationwide pandemic lockdown), Royal Festival Hall, Caramoor, Toronto, Tallinn, Gstaad and Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, while 2022/23 highlights include New York (The 92nd Street Y), Paris, Sydney, Atlanta and Sage Gateshead.
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 include Beethoven’s complete piano concertos (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu), ’The Final Piano Pieces’ of Brahms, Chopin’s Nocturnes, a Schumann recital, Schubert Piano Sonatas, and Elgar’s Violin Sonata with Renaud Capuçon for Warner Classics. His recording of Mompou's Música callada is released in 2023 (Hyperion). His award-winning iPad app The Liszt Sonata was released by Touch Press in 2013.
As a composer, Hough’s song cycle Songs of Love and Loss, co-commissioned by Wigmore Hall, The 92nd Street Y, New York, and Tippet Rise in Montana, receives its world premiere in January 2023. He wrote the commissioned work for the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, performed by all 30 competitors, and his String Quartet No.1 Les Six Rencontres, commissioned for the Takács Quartet, received its world premiere in Costa Mesa, California in 2021, and was recorded for Hyperion Records, due for release 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 is 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 Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and the Evening Standard. Hough is an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple, an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, a Visiting Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, a Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, the International Chair of Piano Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music (of which he was made a Companion in 2019), and is on the faculty of The Juilliard School in New York.