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Stephen Hough is an artist with agile fingers, agile brain

Mar 13, 2014

I had a conference call last week with a Grammy-nominated classical pianist, a composer, a poet, an abstract painter, a celebrated British blogger and the devout Catholic author of "The Bible as Prayer."

But only Stephen Hough was on the other end, taking a break from rehearsals of Rachmaninov's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" with the Minnesota Orchestra. Wait I forgot to mention Commander of the Order of the British Empire, as of January. But what is that, exactly?

"It's an honor the queen gives out twice a year to a certain number of people," he says. "Which is strange, as the British empire doesn't exist any more. I'm not Sir Stephen Hough; that's the grade above mine. It's really like getting a gold star in school. It just means 'You've traveled around for years, doing nice things for your country.' "

Full article at Charlotte Observer