Sir Stephen Hough, CBE
‘Stephen Hough’s memoir had me gripped from the beginning [ .] riveting and revelatory. Most memoirs give me far more than I want to know – this is the rare sort that left me urgently demanding a second volume, a third, a fourth. I loved it.’ Philip Pullman
Stephen Hough is indisputably one of the world’s leading pianists, winning global acclaim and numerous awards.
This memoir recounts his unconventional coming-of-age story, from his beginnings in an unmusical home in Cheshireto the main stage of Carnegie Hall in New York aged 21. We read of his early love-affair with the piano which curdled, after a teenage nervous breakdown, into failure at school and six-hours a day watching television, engulfed in dreams, seesawing between sexual and religious obsessions.We meet his supportive, if eccentric parents – his artistically frustrated father, his housework-hating mother. We read of the teachers who encouraged and inspired, and others who hit him on the head screaming, “you’ll do nothing with your life”. Then finding his way back to the piano, having abandoned plans for an alternative life as a Catholic priest, he flourished at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Juilliard School, beginning his career as an international soloist as this book ends.
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