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Rough Ideas

Stephen Hough

Illuminating insights into the life and mind of a top concert pianist, Stephen Hough.

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Winner of the Royal Philharmonic Award for Storytelling 2020

‘A rich, endlessly fascinating book.’ Philip Pullman

‘One pleasure after another.’ Gramophone

‘The delightful musings of a wise and worldly polymath.’ Financial Times, Books of the Year

Stephen Hough is indisputably one of the world’s leading pianists, winning global acclaim and numerous awards for his concerts and recordings, as well as being a writer and composer.

In Rough Ideas, Hough writes about music and the life of a musician, from exploring the broader aspects of what it is to walk out onto a stage or to make a recording, to specialist tips from deep inside the practice room. He also writes vividly about people, places, literature and art, and touches on more controversial subjects, such as the possibility of the existence of God, and the challenge involved in being a gay Catholic. Rough Ideas is an illuminating and absorbing introduction into the life and mind of one of our great cultural figures.


One of the most distinctive artists of his generation, Stephen Hough combines a distinguished career as a pianist with those of composer and writer. He was named by The Economist as one of Twenty Living Polymaths. He is the winner of numerous awards and was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Honours 2022.Hough has performed with many of…

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