Pianist Stephen Hough To Perform Beethoven's EMPEROR CONCERTO With New York Philharmonic, 1/11
Pianist Stephen Hough continues the New York Philharmonic's season-long cycle of Beethoven piano concertos with performances of Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major ("Emperor"), conducted by Alan Gilbert in his final season as the orchestra's Music Director. The program also includes Brahms's Symphony No. 3 in F major. Performances take place at David Geffen Hall on Wednesday, January 11 at 7:30 PM; Thursday, January 12 at 7:30 PM; Friday, January 13 at 8:00 PM; and Saturday, January 14 at 8:00 PM.
Tickets priced $34-145 are available at nyphil.org, the David Geffen Hall Box Office, or by calling 212-875-5656. The January 14 performance will be broadcast on Facebook Live (facebook.com/nyphilharmonic) and available for on-demand viewing on the New York Philharmonic's website, YouTube (youtube.com/user/NewYorkPhilharmonic), and Facebook through August 31, 2017.
Composed in 1809, Beethoven's fifth and final piano concerto is described by Mr. Hough as one of the greatest in its genre. He characterizes the piece as "Beethoven flexing every muscle in his arms and hands," while also composing "moments of the greatest tenderness." In an essay published in the Catholic Herald, Mr. Hough writes of an experience performing the "Emperor" Concerto: "As I played the third movement's leaping arpeggio theme, its duplet skips quickening and falling with a final thump beyond the downbeat in purest E-flat major, I actually felt the pricking of tears in my eyes. All the clichés were true about Beethoven: his overcoming of suffering and pain, his belief in the human spirit, his refusal to give in to despair, the ultimate triumph over fate." Mr. Hough has also written about the concerto for The Telegraph.
The Beethoven piano concertos have figured prominently in Mr. Hough's recent seasons. In 2014-15, he performed all five concertos with orchestras around the world, culminating in performances of the complete cycle in Australia and Singapore. Since then, he has continued to perform the Beethoven concertos frequently, with the Third, Fourth, and Fifth programmed this season. For Mr. Hough, the experience of performing Beethoven's piano concertos is "exhilarating" and "gives back as much [energy] as you give out."
Mr. Hough returns to New York after two recitals last season at the 92nd Street Y-the first a chamber performance with cellist Steven Isserlis and the second a solo performance, both recitals featuring New York premieres of original compositions by Mr. Hough. Last season also included a performance of Dvo?ák's Piano Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Mr. Gilbert. Highlights of Mr. Hough's 2016-17 US season include the New York Philharmonic performances as well as appearances with the Atlanta, Oregon, Seattle, and St. Louis symphonies, among others; solo recitals in Miami, Santa Fe, and Rockville, Maryland, featuring Mr. Hough's original piano music alongside works by Franck, Liszt, and Schubert; and a performance of works by Debussy in St. Paul On a program with two of Mr. Hough's choral compositions, Missa Mirabilis and Mass of Innocence and Experience. International appearances this season include the BBC Proms; solo recitals in Sweden, the UK, and Mexico; and performances with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and City of Birmingham and São Paulo symphonies, among others.
Stephen Hough is regarded as a Renaissance man of his time. Over the course of his career he has distinguished himself as a true polymath, not only securing a reputation as an insightful pianist, but also as a writer and composer. In 2001, he was the first classical performing artist to receive a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and, in 2013, he was named a Commander of the British Empire. He regularly writes for The Guardian, The Times, Gramophone, and BBC Music Magazine, and recently completed his first novel, The Final Retreat. For six years, he wrote more than six hundred articles for his The Telegraph blog, which became one of the most popular and influential forums for cultural discussion. He has appeared with most of the major American and European orchestras and plays recitals regularly in major halls and concert series around the world. He has recorded over 50 albums for Hyperion, most recently Piano Concertos by Dvo?ák and Schumann with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons. To learn more about Mr. Hough, visit www.stephenhough.com.