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Stephen Hough ( , born 22 November 1961) is a Britishmarker-born classical pianist, composer and writer. He became an Australian citizen in 2005 and thus has dual nationality (his father was born in Australia in 1926).


Hough was born in Heswallmarker (then in Cheshiremarker) on the Wirral Peninsulamarker, and grew up in Hoylakemarker, where he began piano lessons at the age of five. In 1978, he was a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and won the piano section. In 1982, he won the Terence Judd Award in England. In 1983, he took first prize at the Naumburg International Piano Competition in New Yorkmarker.

Hough holds a Master's degree from the Juilliard Schoolmarker and was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001. He has studied with Heather Slade-Lipkin, Gordon Green, and Derrick Wyndham. He is also a notable composer and transcriber, and often includes his own works in his recitals. The premiere of his cello concerto, written for Steven Isserlis, took place in March 2007, and in the summer of the same year Westminster Abbeymarker and Westminster Cathedralmarker performed masses he wrote for them.


Hough performs as a recitalist and chamber musician, and has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, the Philharmonia, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the London Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.


He has made over 40 CDs, one of his most notable being a set of the four Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, recorded during live performances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the baton of then music director Andrew Litton, which have been compared to the recordings by the composer himself. These recordings won him his seventh Gramophone Award as well as the Classical BRIT Critics Award.

His recording of the five Saint-Saëns concertos won the Gramophone Record of the Year in 2001, and was later voted the "winner of winners" in a poll commemorating 30 years of the award.

Teaching and writing

He is a visiting professor of piano at the Royal Academy of Musicmarker in Londonmarker and the International Chair of Piano Studies at the Royal Northern College of Musicmarker in Manchestermarker. He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001, joining prominent writers and scientists who have made significant contributions in their fields.

He joined the Roman Catholic Church when he was 19. He has written about his homosexuality and its relationship with both his music-making and his religion. He has also published The Bible as Prayer: a handbook for lectio divina.

In 2008 he won the Sixth International Poetry Competition.

Selected discography


  2. Why I Became An Australian Citizen
  4. Playing to his strengths
  6. The Way We Are Now: Gay and Lesbian Lives in the 21st Century: Books: Ben Summerskill
  7. hough prayer: Books
  8. First Writer Magazine

External links

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