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Artists’ Choice – Stephen Hough

Artists’ Choice – Stephen Hough

Leeds International Chamber Season 2020/21
Artists’ Choice
Artistic Director – David Waterman

Stephen Hough – piano

Bach-Busoni - Chaconne (from Partita No.2 in D minor) Listen
Chopin - Ballade No.3 in A flat major Listen
Chopin - Two Nocturnes 
Chopin - Scherzo No.2 in B flat minor Listen
Liszt - Funerailles (from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses S173) Listen
Liszt - Mephisto Waltz No.1 Listen

Please note there will be no interval.

‘Amidst the dislocation and horror caused by the corona virus pandemic it is wonderful to be able to present this series of concerts. Thanks to the determination, skill, and adaptability of Katie Pearce and her team, they have found ways of continuing this series very safely, allowing concerts in front of good-sized audiences. For musicians and concert audiences alike, the pandemic has been particularly cruel so this Leeds series is a beacon for the whole country showing what can be achieved.

The series is entitled “Artists’ Choice” and it seems particularly apt this season to encourage artists to play some of the music which is closest to their hearts.  The result is a cornucopia of great works combined with rarer items almost certainly being performed in Leeds for the first time.

It will be very exciting to welcome Stephen Hough to Leeds.  His exquisite and thrilling playing has established him as a firm favourite in the world’s piano firmament. His effortless command and profound musical thought surely make this a recital not to be missed.

I always look forward to playing in my home town, Leeds, but this is magnified more than ever by the current sad rarity of live concerts and the feeling of solace and togetherness that great music brings to all of us.’
David Waterman - Cellist and Artistic Director of Artists’ Choice

Named by The Economist as one of Twenty Living Polymaths, 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 and was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year’s Honours 2014.

On 1 June 2020, Hough re-opened Wigmore Hall, performing the UK’s first live classical music concert in a major venue since the nationwide lockdown in March. Later that summer he made his 29th appearance at the BBC Proms performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.2 with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Currently scheduled concerts in 2020/21 include concerto performances with the London Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, St Louis, Cincinnati and Atlanta symphony orchestras, Seoul Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan.

Hough is a regular guest at festivals such as Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Edinburgh, La Roque-d'Anthéron and Aldeburgh. Recent highlights include performances with New York and London Philharmonic orchestras, Wiener Symphoniker, Cleveland and Minnesota orchestras, and the Finnish Radio, Tokyo, Toronto, Singapore, Iceland and City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras.  In the 2019/20 season, he spearheaded a five-concert Brahms series at Wigmore Hall, performing with Renaud Capuçon, Steven Isserlis, Michael Collins and the Castalian Quartet.

Hough’s extensive discography of over 60 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 include Beethoven’s complete piano concertos (with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu), ‘The Final Piano Pieces’ of Brahms, solo piano works by Debussy, Hough’s ‘Dream Album’, and a live recording of Schumann and Dvořák’s piano concertos with Andris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, all for Hyperion Records. His award-winning iPad app The Liszt Sonata was released by Touch Press in 2013.

As a composer Hough is writing the commissioned work for the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, to be performed by all 30 competitors in May/June 2022. His String Quartet No.1 will be premiered by the Takács Quartet in December 2021 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa. He has been commissioned by Wigmore Hall, Musée du Louvre, London’s National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, the Genesis Foundation, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, the Cliburn Foundation, Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. His music is published by Josef Weinberger Ltd.

As an author, his collection of essays Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More was published by Faber & Faber in August 2019 and was named one of Financial Times’ Book of the Year 2019. Hough’s first novel, The Final Retreat, was published by Sylph Editions in March 2018. He has been published by The New York Times, The TelegraphThe TimesThe Guardian and the Evening Standard. Hough is an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple, an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, a 2019-22 Visiting Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, 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.


Coronavirus Information

As a result of fast changing Government directions in response to the pandemic and increased infections rates, there is an ever present possibility that our events run the risk of being cancelled at short notice. Customers are advised to check that the event they have booked for is going ahead prior to setting off. Therefore to avoid disappointment and inconvenience please visit our website, social media channels or call the Box Office on 0113 376 0318 (Mon-Fri between 10am to 4.00pm).

This indoor concert is a crucial part of the process in helping live music performances return safely for both artists and audiences. The following measures are now in place at Leeds Town Hall to ensure the safety and comfort of the audience during their visit:

- Hand sanitising stations on entry and around the venue
- Clearly marked one-way system around the venue
- Socially distanced seating arrangements with predetermined entrance times
- Socially distanced toilet facilities. We ask that customers access the toilet facilities before the concert as re-entrance during the performance may not be possible.

Face Coverings: everyone is expected to wear a face covering unless excused for reasons of age, health or disability.

If you are feeling unwell (or suspect you have coronavirus) please do not attend the concert.

Latecomers cannot be admitted.

Lift access to the stalls and gallery areas is available through the Box Office entrance. This is limited to one person/one family unit or for accessibility access.

Photography is not permitted during the event.

Customers are kindly requested to stay seated during the performance and remain seated at the end of the concert until staff advise you of your exit route.

Please be aware that there will be no bars/refreshment stations open before or after the concert and there is no interval.

NHS Test and Trace

Customer contact details and the time you are present in our building will be recorded for NHS Test and Trace purposes. In accordance with NHS requirements this information will be held for 21 days and, if asked, we will provide them to NHS Test and Trace.

Please be reassured that your information will be stored securely, in line with data protection laws, and will not be shared with anyone else. We will also not use your data for anything else like marketing. We are doing this to help reduce the risk of any local outbreak - by sharing your information NHS Test and Trace can quickly identify people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and ask them to take the necessary precautio


£27.50, £25, £21, £16
Under 18s/full-time students/unwaged: 50% off
(prices include 10% booking fee)

Due to limited capacity and current social distancing measures, advance booking is required. We regret that booking tickets on the door is not currently an option. 

Tickets & Times