I think there are very few people that I would give the title of genius to, really, but Beethoven unquestionably is one of them.

Stephen Hough

Stephen Hough

Profession: Musician
Nationality: British

Some suggestions for you :

I once nodded off during one of my own concerts. While I was playing.

I like the extras in life. Concentrating on serious things doesn't mean you can't also enjoy the lighter ones.

There must be so many people who have various artistic talents that, for whatever reason, just have no way of expressing them. Either they have no support from their family or they live in a part of the world, maybe they've never heard a piano or seen a piano.

I love my painting - it fills me with passion. But it's not something I expect anyone else to love.

Before Liszt, a conductor was someone who just facilitated the performance, who would keep people together or beat the time, indicate the entries. After Liszt, that was no longer the case; a conductor was someone who shaped the music in an intense musical way, who played the orchestra as an instrument.

Discovering how to spend leisure time well, especially during a time of austerity, could be as important in the effort to reduce crime as having extra police on the streets, and increasing the population of concert halls may actually help decrease the population of prisons.

Freedom comes with the impossibility of choosing.

I wanted to be a monk at some time in my life, or a priest, so there was a kind of reflex quite early on not to be attached to anything that might be taken away.

When you're a kid, Beethoven is Beethoven, but as I've grown older, my astonishment at the sheer inventiveness of the man has increased, and I have an appreciation that I didn't have when I was in my 20s.

I enjoy painting. It's an incredible release of tension, and I feel very excited doing it. I squeeze out some wonderful red paint, and I get a thrill. My heart starts beating faster. It's almost a sensual thing working with these thick acrylic paints. I almost want to put my hands in.

I've twice been on the point of giving up my performing career to train for the priesthood.

It's so easy for all the success in the world to suddenly end, and I'm quite aware of that.

I love listening to things like those wonderful piano pieces of Stockhausen. It's just not my thing as a composer or performer, and thank goodness we're not obliged to be Modernist any more.

For about four years, all I did was watch television. I suppose my parents should have stopped me.