Top 70 Stephen Hough Quotes

Words matter. These are the best Stephen Hough Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.

Life is an incurable disease leading to death, but it's

Life is an incurable disease leading to death, but it’s also an unrequested gift, which, if we can manage to keep giving it away to others, can keep giving back everything to us.
Stephen Hough
I wanted to be a disc jockey.
Stephen Hough
The Internet tempts us to think that because an email or a new website can be accessed in seconds that everything works at the same instant speed. Art is more like the growth of a plant. It needs time and space.
Stephen Hough
I love food, but if I find a restaurant I like in a new city, I can eat every meal there, and sometimes I do… and even sometimes the same dish.
Stephen Hough
I think there are very few people that I would give the title of genius to, really, but Beethoven unquestionably is one of them.
Stephen Hough
I just found the piano so fascinating and wonderful, and I begged my parents to buy me one. In the end, they bought me a toy piano and eventually an upright piano, and I started lessons.
Stephen Hough
I was only listening to rock music, burning joss sticks in my bedroom, wanting only to be a disc jockey, and watching six hours of television a night – the worst kind of teenage alienation.
Stephen Hough
It’s very hard to come up with ideal situations… With different moods and the difficulties of traveling around, I often play my best under the worst conditions.
Stephen Hough
Where prominent writers are expected to have a socially, politically responsible voice, musicians sometimes find meaning only in the voice which produces melodies with vocal chords.
Stephen Hough
I’ve loved Alfred Cortot’s playing from an early age, and I never tire of hearing his recordings, particularly Chopin and Schumann from the 1920s and ’30s.
Stephen Hough
I was such a lazy teenager: I didn’t read or play the piano beyond the bare minimum.
Stephen Hough
In school, my favourite class was when we were given a subject for an essay on which we could freewheel. And poetry: I’ve always written it and loved the way words interact, in meaning and in sound.
Stephen Hough
Before the 20th century, to be a successful musician was merely to be one who was employed. A few, such as Liszt, Paderewski and several singers, had phenomenally lucrative careers, but they were rare – and Liszt gave all of his money away, travelling by choice in a third-class rail carriage.
Stephen Hough
I want music to move me, and I don’t think it can do that without at least a link to tonality. It’s the tug between atonal and tonal which makes music poignant.
Stephen Hough
I love my painting – it fills me with passion. But it’s not something I expect anyone else to love.
Stephen Hough
I’d never thought about living in London until about 1999.
Stephen Hough
Schubert, Franck, and Liszt were all Roman Catholics who questioned or doubted or lived in different ways, and religion was certainly part of all their lives.
Stephen Hough
Traveling the road can be quite tiresome.
Stephen Hough
Few occupations pass the solitary hours more fruitfully than the playing of a musical instrument.
Stephen Hough
Most people are at a concert because they want to be inspired, entertained, moved; we musicians have the mission to be bringers of joy, of ecstasy.
Stephen Hough
All things of beauty can speak to us of God, and I’m very happy to listen to and be inspired by people of every religious background.
Stephen Hough
If ‘ecstasy’ means to stand outside ourselves, then what better ambition can there be as we wait in the wings of the Royal Albert Hall: to leave self-obsession behind and take the audience on a journey across the high wire of Beethoven or the flying trapeze of Liszt.
Stephen Hough
I don’t think of faith as something that’s like a rock, that never changes. I think it’s something that’s very fluid, always changing.
Stephen Hough
When you’re a kid, Beethoven is Beethoven, but as I’ve grown older, my astonishment at the sheer inventiveness of the man has increased, and I have an appreciation that I didn’t have when I was in my 20s.
Stephen Hough
America has been central to my life.
Stephen Hough
Painting is just a hobby. I really don’t think of it much more than that. But writing music and writing words… my life would feel as if it had a big hole if I took those away.
Stephen Hough
Many people who don’t like Rachmaninov’s style consider the ‘Rhapsody’ his masterpiece. It’s written fantastically well for orchestra and piano. He combines a lot of effervescence with a deep, Romantic spirit.
Stephen Hough
It’s so easy for all the success in the world to suddenly end, and I’m quite aware of that.
Stephen Hough
I wanted to be a monk at some time in my life, or a priest, so there was a kind of reflex quite early on not to be attached to anything that might be taken away.
Stephen Hough
I enjoy painting. It’s an incredible release of tension, and I feel very excited doing it. I squeeze out some wonderful red paint, and I get a thrill. My heart starts beating faster. It’s almost a sensual thing working with these thick acrylic paints. I almost want to put my hands in.
Stephen Hough
I’m not really a professional composer; I just compose now and then when someone asks me to.
Stephen Hough
Brahms is life-changing every time. And though I love h

Brahms is life-changing every time. And though I love him, I can’t say that about Mompou.
Stephen Hough
I haven’t studied theology in any systematic way. I don’t think I’d find certain subjects – canon law, for instance – terribly interesting. But I’m always picking around and finding different things.
Stephen Hough
Debussy is one of the few composers who actually created a new sound on the piano – or perhaps we should say a new smell, so perfumed are the vibrations which emanate from the instrument.
Stephen Hough
Silence is the necessary soil for any thought to flourish.
Stephen Hough
I have had a place in New York in the musicians’ district on the Upper West Side since 1986.
Stephen Hough
The ‘Missa Mirabilis’ is a big work which was conceived for a large organ and a lot of singers.
Stephen Hough
Live in the present moment. The past and future are nonexistent. Only the present can be grasped or, better, embraced.
Stephen Hough
Restaurants should be forced to recycle their leftovers for animal consumption – and should create fewer leftovers in the first place.
Stephen Hough
I can admire music where you feel the composer has everything organized and perfectly shaped, but it doesn’t touch me. I like to feel that a composer is wounded, like all of us.
Stephen Hough
I didn’t want to look back in 10 or 20 years and say, ‘Yes, I always wanted to write that piano sonata or that novel, but I never had time.’
Stephen Hough
I think the actual art of expressing yourself is a very important part of being human. And an important part of being a performer is understanding what it’s like to create yourself.
Stephen Hough
My principal commitment is playing the piano. But I always loved words.
Stephen Hough
In superficial terms, to have an orchestral career is to be better than others, or at least to be chosen over others on that particular occasion; it is a form of survival.
Stephen Hough
If I’m walking along the street, ideas come. Ideas about things that I’m interested in. I’ve jotted them down in the past on bits of paper and then, more recently, on apps in my phone. I’ve always written poetry since I was a kid.
Stephen Hough
Unlike sport, music is not about winning or keeping fit or promoting your town or school; it’s about celebrating, to a level approaching ecstasy, the deepest human longings.
Stephen Hough
A priest once said to me, ‘Think of a priest going to the altar as you walk out on the stage.’ I would hate to think that anyone thought I was coming to preach. But art and music open up things that you can’t put into words. It’s about bringing joy when you go out there.
Stephen Hough
I don’t listen to music a lot in that I rarely sit down and put on a CD because I really want to treasure the silence that is there when I’m not practising. But when I listen to a piece, I listen to it often.
Stephen Hough
Playing the piano is incredibly personal… But when it’s your own piece, it’s doubly so.
Stephen Hough
I think it all comes from the same source, really, the writing of music, the writing of words, the playing of music. It’s what drives anyone to be interested in the arts. I think it’s a poetic gene; it’s a wanting to go beyond.
Stephen Hough
Out of silence is born concentration, and from that comes learning.
Stephen Hough
Freedom comes with the impossibility of choosing.
Stephen Hough
Once or twice, I’ve taken the Gideon Bible out of the drawer, opened it at random, and found myself stuck in the middle of a genealogical list. And that’s when I thought: why not cherry-pick the best bits, passages that people can actually use?
Stephen Hough
Classical music thinks in centuries, not four-year terms.
Stephen Hough
For about four years, all I did was watch television. I suppose my parents should have stopped me.
Stephen Hough
I once nodded off during one of my own concerts. While I was playing.
Stephen Hough
I’ve always written – about music, art, things going on around the world. The danger is that it becomes too personal. I don’t think people want it at that level of intimacy.
Stephen Hough
If you are not living in the same area when you are looking for property, it is a nightmare because you come down for a day or two, have appointments to see places, and have to be able to make instant decisions before flying off to St. Louis or somewhere.
Stephen Hough
Whether such socialism is foolish naivety or heroic idealism is a matter of opinion, but what is certain is that, however many CDs are sold or tours sold out, the sound waves themselves are free.
Stephen Hough
There must be so many people who have various artistic talents that, for whatever reason, just have no way of expressing them. Either they have no support from their family or they live in a part of the world, maybe they’ve never heard a piano or seen a piano.
Stephen Hough
The things I do outside of playing the piano are done out of an inner necessity, not just because I want to try my hand at different things.
Stephen Hough
I love teaching.
Stephen Hough
No two composers were more totally at home in front of

No two composers were more totally at home in front of the piano than Debussy and Chopin, hands to keys to strings to sound waves to pen and paper in one perfect gesture of inspiration.
Stephen Hough
I would do a sort of violence to myself if I didn’t express myself in the directly creative ways of writing, both words and music.
Stephen Hough
I like the extras in life. Concentrating on serious things doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy the lighter ones.
Stephen Hough
My place in London is very small, so a piano would take up a third of the room. I leave home in the morning when I’m there and go to my studio. I close the door, and it’s soundproof. There’s no phone or TV or computer, and I can work uninterruptedly. That has been a huge advantage over the years.
Stephen Hough
There are many doors to the heart.
Stephen Hough
Unlike a high-wire walker, I don’t think any musician strikes the wires of a piano or draws a bow across a violin’s strings primarily for the kick of an adrenalin fix. There is danger on stage, but dropped notes are not broken bones; a memory lapse is not a tumble to the ground.
Stephen Hough
Why do people compose music? Why do people listen to music? When we go into a concert, we go into a place where we want to experience a sort of ecstasy, to come out of ourselves.
Stephen Hough
To me, the heart of the ministry lies in being able to help deeply distressed people, not because of your own qualities but because you represent Christ.
Stephen Hough