NEW YORK, NEW YORK (February 2, 2023) — Enough: Scenes from Childhood, a coming-of-age memoir by renowned pianist, composer, and writer Sir Stephen Hough will be released in the U.S. on Tuesday, April 11 by Faber & Faber. The memoir is Sir Stephen’s fifth book and his second to be published by Faber & Faber, following his critically acclaimed 2019 essay collection, Rough Ideas. Enough is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Enough recounts some of Sir Stephen’s earliest memories and obsessions including his supportive—if eccentric—parents, his youthful love of the piano, wayward teenage years, a stint in a Catholic seminary, his return to music, and studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and The Juilliard School. It concludes with his Carnegie Hall debut at 21 when he competed in the 1983 Naumburg Competition, winning first prize and launching his international career.

Enough eschews the structure of a traditional autobiography, preferring loose vignettes over a comprehensive chronological account to create recollections of the people, places, and occurrences that shaped him as an artist. Sir Stephen explains this approach in the prologue, writing: “The hope is to paint a portrait that can be viewed with interest without knowing or caring too much about the sitter, as the transparent gaze or gauze of Pope Innocent X on the canvases of Velázquez or Bacon is more interesting than the pontiff’s opaque life.”

Released in the U.K. today, Dan Cairns of The Sunday Times says of Enough:

“Hough writes like a dream, with an almost Alan Bennett-like eye and ear for the sights and sounds of childhood… What Hough’s memoir makes abundantly, movingly clear is that all roads lead back to his parents, to Cheshire, Chetham’s and the Catholic church. They don’t define him. But they made him. You can hear it in his music. Chaos, creation, catharsis.”

Alexandra Coghlan of The Spectator writes: 

“This isn’t a music memoir. It’s a memoir of a man who happens to be a world-class musician… When you lay them all out there’s a shared theme to many of the stories and characters: things that stay unspoken. Hough’s early desire to shock, his identity as playful provocateur, flourished in the gap between what was known and what was said – the product of a different time. Now we share everything, loudly and at top volume, and Hough’s quiet asides and gentle insinuations, his elisions and ellipses are more welcome than ever.”

Sir Stephen’s first book, The Bible as Prayer: A Handbook for Lectio Divina, was published by Paulist Press in 2007 and was followed in 2014 by Nosing Around, a series of ruminations on perfume published by Shrinking Violet Press. In spring 2018, Sir Hough’s debut novel, The Final Retreat, was published by Sylph Editions. The diary of a middle-aged Catholic priest on silent retreat while being blackmailed, the novel received wide acclaim, including five stars from BBC Music Magazine and a “Novel of the Week” selection in the Catholic publication The Tablet. His essay collection, Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More, was published by Faber & Faber in 2019. Rough Ideas addresses an eclectic range of issues involving music and beyond, offering insight to faith, composers, musical practice, and the life of a traveling musician. Barton Swaim of The Wall Street Journal wrote that Sir Stephen is “one of a very few gifted musicians who are capable of writing with clarity and wit… Part of what makes Mr. Hough’s writing on music so appealing is that he writes as a performer, as if somehow from the inside of the music.”

Sir Stephen performs throughout the U.S. this season in recital and as a soloist with orchestras. His recital program features his own piece Sonatina Nostalgica, as well as Mompou’s Cants mágics alongside works by Liszt, Debussy, and Scriabin. He will perform this program at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC on March 21, in Miami on March 28 for Friends of Chamber Music Miami, at 92NY in New York on March 30, at Spivey Hall in Atlanta on April 1, and in Athens, GA on April 2 presented by the University of Georgia. He will also perform as a soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony (February 17-19), Houston Symphony (March 10-12), National Symphony in Washington DC (March 23-25), Rochester Philharmonic (March 18), Cincinnati Symphony (April 7 & 8), and with the Detroit Symphony (April 14-16). 

Tomorrow (February 3) Hyperion Records releases Sir Stephen’s second all-Mompou album, Música callada. Covering the entire four-volume series of Música callada, composed and published between 1959-67, the album is Sir Stephen’s return to Mompou after 1998’s Gramophone Award-winning Piano Music by Federico Mompou and continues Sir Stephen’s lifelong exploration of the composer’s music.

One of the most distinctive artists of his generation, Sir Stephen Hough combines a distinguished career as a pianist with those of composer and writer. Named by The Economist as one of Twenty Living Polymaths, Sir Stephen was the first classical performer to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (2001). In 2014 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2022. Since taking first prize at the 1983 Naumburg Competition in New York, Sir Stephen has appeared with most of the major European, Asian and American orchestras and plays recitals regularly in major halls and concert series around the world. 

His recordings have garnered international prizes including the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d’Or, Monde de la Musique, several Grammy nominations, and eight Gramophone Magazine Awards including the 1996 and 2003 “Record of the Year” Awards and the 2008 “Gold Disc” Award. Sir Stephen has composed music for orchestra, choir, chamber ensemble, and solo piano, and his compositions are published by Josef Weinberger, Ltd. He has been commissioned by the Takacs Quartet, the Cliburn, the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, the Gilmore Foundation, and Wigmore Hall  among others. He is also an avid painter whose work has been exhibited at the Broadbent Gallery in London. 

A noted writer, Sir Stephen has contributed articles for The New York Times, the GuardianThe TimesGramophone and BBC Music Magazine, and The Telegraph. His books include: The Bible as Prayer (Bloomsbury and Paulist Press, 2007); a novel: The Final Retreat (Sylph Editions, 2018); and a book of essays: Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More (Faber & Faber and Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2019). His upcoming book Enough: Scenes From Childhood will be published by Faber & Faber to be released on April 11. 

Sir Stephen resides in London where he is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music and holds the International Chair of Piano Studies at his alma mater, the Royal Northern College in Manchester. He is also a member of the faculty at The Juilliard School. To learn more about Sir Stephen Hough, visit stephenhough.com and follow him at @houghhough on Twitter and Facebook.