The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Musicians need silence, says pianist Stephen Hough, who also praises the rise of artists and audiences for Western classical music in Asia | April 15, 2017

By Jacob Stockinger

Pianist Stephen Hough is rightly described as a polymath, a Renaissance Man who is a world-class performer, composer, painter, novelist and blogger.

Little wonder that Hough was the first musician to win a MacArthur Fellowship or “genius grant.”

The virtuosic Hough (below) wowed local audiences here a couple of months ago when he performed the dazzling Piano Concerto No. 5 “Egyptian” by Camille Saint-Saens with the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Recently, he gave an interview in which he talked about the importance of silence to musicians.

Along the way, he also remarked on and lauded the “thrilling” rise of Western classical music – shown in audiences as well as the huge numbers and high quality of professional performing artists, amateurs and students – in Asia.

Hough also talked about the role of composing for performers, why it is a valuable skill and whether the performer-composer tradition is returning. (You can hear Stephen Hough perform his own Piano Sonata No. 3 “Trinitas” in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

The Ear found Stephen Hough’s interview engaging and informative, and hopes you do too.

Here is a link:

1 Comment »

  1. Hello from Madison’s Polish Heritage Club –

    We are pleased to share this information about the May 2 lecture by Szymon Paczkowsk. The attachment tells about ordering his book.

    He will be staying at the home of Ryszard and Julita Zolnik 608-213-0741

    See below email from Jeanne Swack, UW School of Music

    Thank you for any help you might give to publicizing this event.


    Rose Meinholz, Newsletter Editor

    ______________________________ The Polish Heritage Club of Wisconsin, Inc. – Madison PO Box 45438 Madison, WI 53744-5438 Founded in 1979 as a Wisconsin Non-profit organization to promote Polish Heritage through educational, cultural, charitable and social activities. EMAIL: Facebook (608) 831-8827


    From: Zolnik, Julita <> Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2017 5:53 PM To: Cc: Rosie Meinholz Larry Hochman Subject: RE: from JS: open to general public? Szymon Paczkowski


    Sorry for interjecting… I’ll be going to Saturday evening Madison Bach Musicians St John’s Passion, so will be happy to share the information with them.

    BTW, Szymon will be staying with us during his short Madison visit. He is my old friend from Warsaw, when I was a member of University of Warsaw Choir and he was a voice instructor :)!

    I’m so happy he is coming to Madison again. Szymon mentioned how excited he is to be able meet up with you again.

    Looking forward to meeting you in person myself!

    Julita Zolnik



    From: Jeanne Swack <>

    Date: April 13, 2017 at 4:57:13 PM CDT To: Rosie Meinholz Larry Hochman <> Subject: Re: open to general public? Szymon Paczkowski

    Your poster is beautiful! I’ll get some run off.

    Our colloquium room is a large classroom. It has been less than half full when it’s just our grad students, so there should be room (I’m guessing it seats about 60 or so people altogether).

    Szymon is delightful (I first met him at a huge musicology conference in Warsaw.)


    Jeanne Swack

    Professor of Musicology and Jewish Studies

    University of Wisconsin-Madison


    Comment by Rosie Meinholz Larry Hochman — April 15, 2017 @ 11:09 am

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