Hough is active as a soloist, accompanist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. In the last-named role, he has appeared with the major orchestras of the world with conductors such as James Levine
, Salonen, Vänskä, Dutoit, Gergiev
, Christoph von Dohnanyi
, Neeme Järvi
, Claudio Abbado
, and Michael Tilson Thomas
on the podium. He has been a frequent visitor to the annual BBC Proms series, appearing over a dozen times. He has also played at the Aspen, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Blossom, Hollywood Bowl, and Mostly Mozart Festivals in the U.S., and at the Edinburgh and Salzburg Festivals among leading European gatherings.
He records for the British label Hyperion, and has released over thirty compact discs. His devotion to unusual repertory of various eras in music is reflected in some of his titles. His album New York Variations includes the Ghost Variations by George Tsontakis
and John Corigliano
's Etude Fantasy and was named Time Magazine's Best Classical CD of the Year. His recording of piano concertos of Scharwenka and Sauer won Gramophone Magazine's award in 1996 for Concerto Record of the year and the top prize of Record of the Year. On that disc, he was accompanied by conductor Lawrence Foster
and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded the little known complete orchestra-and-piano works by Felix Mandelssohn
and the solo piano music of Mompou
(another Gramophone Award winner and also winner of a Diapason d'Or). Hough has also won the Classic CD and Deutschen Schallplattenkritik Prize. Hough has recorded piano music of Coates, Chaminade
, Lieberman, Franck, Bowen, and his own well-regarded etudes and piano transcriptions, as well as complete series of Saint-Saëns
' and Rachmaninov
's piano concertos.
In 2001, Hough was the recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.