Stephen Hough is the winner of Northwestern University's $50,000 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance. The award is given to "pianists who have achieved the highest levels of national and international recognition."
In addition to receiving the cash award, Hough will hold a residency for two to three non-consecutive weeks commencing November 10, 2008, teaching, lecturing, and giving master classes and chamber music coaching. The recipient also performs one public recital.
“I am deeply honored to have been chosen for this prestigious prize," the British-born 46-year-old expressed in a statement. "I am especially excited to have the opportunity to work with Northwestern students during the next couple of years, and to be involved in the life of one of the great American universities.”
Hough, a 2001 MacArthur Fellow, made his Wigmore Hall debut in 1982 and won both the Naumburg International Piano Competition and Terence Judd Hall Award the following year; his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall came in 1984. He has performed with several major orchestras, including the London Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has also received seven Gramophone Awards and three Grammy nominations.
The dedicatee of works written by Lowell Liebermann, James MacMillan and George Tsontakis, Hough has made over 40 recordings; among those of note are
Hummel's A minor and B minor concertos, Xaver Scharwenka’s Concerto No. 4 and Emil von Sauer’s Concerto No. 1. He is the first to record Corigliano's Etude Fantasy and Tsontakis’s Ghost Variations, and has released albums of both Brahms concertos and the complete Beethoven and Brahms violin sonatas with Robert Mann.
A writer and composer with an interest in theology, Hough wrote the book The Bible as Prayer: A Handbook for Lectio Divina, published by Continuum International earlier this year. The 2007 premieres of his compositions have included a cello concerto with Steven Isserlis and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and two Masses at London's Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.
Hough resides in London and is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music.
The prize is named for donor Jean Gimbel Lane, a San Francisco Bay area resident and 1952 graduate of Northwestern who majored in art history. Its inaugural winner was Richard Goode.