the first annual international stephen hough appreciation week: day 3!

to celebrate mr. hough’s arrival to pdx, we here at the cb home office are celebrating day #3 of the first annual international stephen hough appreciation week.  once again, we slip on our “wwshd?” bracelets, and with a solemn flick of my bic, we light the green candle which honors the man as genius.  that’s right, mr. hough is not only a world-renowned piano player, in 2001 he was awarded a macarthur fellowship, a.k.a. the “genius award.”  he could have tackled 100 questions from the beaver, no sweat.  have a query about forensic anthropology?  microeconomics? astrophysics?  go ahead, ask stephen.  okay, enough from me… ladies and gentlemen, the classical beaver is very proud to present the pride of the wirral peninsula, mr. stephen andrew gill hough:

this weekend you’ll be playing the piano concerto #1 by franz liszt – how would you describe this piece to someone who doesn’t listen much to classical music?

It’s a high-octane, fuel-injection work, full of virtuosity and fireworks.  But also there’s a romantic core as always with Liszt.

in interviews you’ve mentioned your affection for chocolate, key lime pies, toffee, brownies, and sticky english puddings with dollops of yellow custard.  mahler’s unfinished symphony closes the oregon symphony program you’re a part of: if gustav was a sweet, what type of sweet would gustav be?

Oh, I imagine a Black Forest gateaux with heavy cream.

i’ll give pix a call and see what i can do.  hey, what’s so darn awesome about the piano?

It’s an orchestra at the hands of one player.  It can whisper, roar, and everything in between.

what differences do you detect in your playing when it’s for a recording, instead of a live audience?

With a recording you tend to think the long term – that this is going to be around for a long time.  You want your interpretation to cover all the bases in a way, to be a summation of everything you’ve thought about the piece.  In a concert part of the fun is highlighting one side of a work, one character in the play.

in all your globetrotting, what’s the most beautiful church you’ve visited?

Very hard to say.  In London I love the Jesuit church at Farm Street – but I also love the harsh brilliance of Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral.

any words of encouragement for us queers in america?

You’ve never had it so good in history … and let’s make good relationships of love and commitment.  This is the best argument for equality.

word up.  if you’ll pardon a loaded question, how great are carlos kalmar and the oldest band in the western land?

They are really great – and Carlos is a unique musician of absolute integrity and artistic intelligence.  I always love coming to Portland … great chocolate shops, too.

if i could buy you a drink, what would you order?

A glass of water, but half-fizzy, half-still.

um, that might be the most unusual answer i’ll ever get to that question.  moving on, any guilty pleasures in the world of pop music?

Waiting to be corrupted.

the classical beaver investigative journalism office noticed that monday the 22nd is also your birthday – instead of a boring bouquet, what gift would you like to receive while listening to your standing ovation?

Maybe a great hat from Portland’s hat shop, Helmer’s – size 60 🙂

with a scoop of chocolate pudding, no doubt.  hats off to mr. hough: cheers!

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1 Response to “the first annual international stephen hough appreciation week: day 3!”


  1. 1 Jordan November 17, 2010 at 9:19 am

    BRAVO, BEAVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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