When Lakeside Arts Centre was approached to co-commission a new piece by internationally acclaimed pianist Stephen Hough — they jumped at the chance. And the centre’s faith in Hough has paid off as he continues to rack up five-star reviews.
Lakeside, The University of Nottingham’s public arts centre, was offered the opportunity to co-commission the piece following Mr Hough’s warmly received previous recital at Lakeside’s Djanogly Recital Hall.
A year after initial discussions, Hough’s performance of his second sonata — notturno luminoso — at the Barbican in London picked up a five-star review from The Times.
Recital halls around the world
Dr Catherine Hocking, Music Programmer at Lakeside, said: “Stephen’s first sonata had garnered great reviews, so I had complete faith that he would deliver another superb work and it was an opportunity to support the creation of it. We were excited that he would be performing the new sonata in prestigious recital halls across the world.
“As a programmer, I’m keen for our audience at Lakeside to hear brilliant new pieces like this. It was a pleasure for Lakeside and The University of Nottingham to be involved in conjunction with international partners — and we’d love to do more.”
Part of the commissioning agreement was that Stephen Hough would perform the new sonata at Lakeside, which he did to great acclaim to a capacity audience at The Djanogly Recital Hall on Thursday 20 December 2012.
Hough goes his own way
Writing in The Times, Geoff Brown says of Hough’s sonata: “The opening sharp-note clamour may bring Messiaen to mind, but Hough quickly goes his own way, juggling with wild panache his different colours, piano registers and modes of attack.”
Following his success in London this week, Hough has headed to America and will soon be gracing the stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall — with Lakeside mentioned in the programme, of course.
Mr Hough said: “Having Lakeside Arts Centre as a willing and enthusiastic partner gave me much encouragement in writing my second sonata, especially during those times when inspiration seemed temporarily to dry up and the fire was merely some embers.
“Composers write music as if under compulsion from a source within, or at least they should. But it is so much more wonderful when people want to play, to hear and to commission us for allowing this fire to burn freely.”
Lakeside commissioned the work together with The Schubert Club, St. Paul, Minnesota; Singapore International Piano Festival; Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts and the Vancouver Recital Society. It was given its premiere by the composer at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts on October 9 2012.
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