Stephen Hough returning to Australia this month

A FAMILIAR face to Musica Viva audiences, the much-loved and acclaimed British-Australian pianist Stephen Hough is returning to Australian shores this month, and Coffs Harbour is on the radar.

During his career, Hough has deservedly secured a reputation for being a uniquely insightful concert pianist and also a writer and composer. His artistic activities extend to painting, and he is a noted connoisseur of fine tea, perfume and hats.

Hough's upcoming recital program lightly references some of these extra-musical interests.

Hough will open his Australian program with one of Schubert's late sonatas, a "sonata of sighs", thought to have been written just after the diagnosis of what was to be his final illness.

Hough describes the whole of the first half as a big progression from darkness to light.

Following works by Schubert and Franck will be Hough's latest piano work, the Sonata No. 3, Trinitas, which will make its Australian premiere on this tour.

In the new sonata, commissioned jointly by the Catholic magazine The Tablet and the Barbician Centre, Hough, whose Catholic faith is a driving force in his creativity, has been inspired by the symbolism of the number three and what he sees as the parallel dogmas of the Trinity in the church and of 12-tone serialism in music.

"There's a triptych idea behind this as well: the three-movement Schubert, the Franck in three parts, and my sonata being the Trinitas," he said.

For tour information, visit Hough .

Dates: Coffs Harbour, May 6 at 8pm

Lecture Theatre D, Coffs Harbour Education Campus.

Presented by Coffs Harbour Music Society in association with Musica Viva Australia.

Phone bookings Karen 6651 4003.

Cheque/credit card accepted. Individual tickets are available two weeks prior to each concert date.

See www.coffsmusic

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