The Northwestern University School of Music announced today that pianist Stephen Hough is the 2008 winner of the $50,000 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance.

The School of Music’s biennial award was established in 2005 to honor pianists who have achieved the highest levels of national and international recognition. The inaugural winner was Richard Goode.

Hough, a native of Great Britain, has been hailed worldwide for his command of standard repertoire and for his interest in neglected 19th century as well as contemporary repertoire. He was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001.

In addition to receiving a $50,000 cash award, the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize winner spends two to three non-consecutive weeks in residency at the School of Music engaging in master classes, chamber music coaching and lecturing. He or she also performs a public recital during one of the residency weeks. Hough’s initial Northwestern residency will take place the week of Nov. 10, 2008.

Stephen Hough said, “I am deeply honored to have been chosen for this prestigious prize. I am especially excited to have the opportunity to work with Northwestern students during the next couple of years, and to be involved in the life of one of the great American universities.”

Toni-Marie Montgomery, dean of the School of Music said, “The School of Music looks forward to Stephen Hough’s residencies as part of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance. Our students and faculty will benefit from Mr. Hough’s distinctive and outstanding artistry. We look forward to welcoming him to the Northwestern campus.”

Prize donor Jean Gimbel Lane is a 1952 graduate of Northwestern University who majored in art history. Mrs. Lane and her husband, Bill, live in the San Francisco Bay area.

Stephen Hough is widely regarded as one of the most distinctive pianists of his generation, integrating brilliant technique and imagination with scholarship and intellectual rigor. His more than 40 compact discs on the Hyperion label have garnered numerous international prizes, including Gramophone magazine’s Record of the Year in 1996 and 2003, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d'Or, Le Monde de la Musique, and several Grammy nominations.

Since winning First Prize in the 1983 Naumburg International Piano Competition, Hough has appeared with almost every major American and European orchestra. He plays recitals in important halls and series around the world, and is a favored guest artist at such international festivals as Ravinia, Tanglewood, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Salzburg and the BBC Proms.

Hough also has collaborated as a chamber musician with cellist Steven Isserlis, violinists Joshua Bell and Tabea Zimmermann and clarinetist Michael Collins and with the Emerson, Takacs and Juilliard string quartets. Strongly committed to contemporary music, Hough has had the composers George Tsontakis, Lowell Liebermann and James MacMillan write works especially for him.

Hough is an accomplished writer and composer. In addition to critically acclaimed compact disc liner notes and published articles, he authored the book “The Bible as Prayer.” Performances of his compositions include the 2007 premieres of his cello concerto, with Steven Isserlis and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and two Masses at London's Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.

A resident of London, Hough is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music.

For further information on Hough go to

The Northwestern University School of Music also sponsors the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Musical Composition, a $100,000 biennial award established in 2004. Its recipients thus far have been John Adams and Oliver Knussen.

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