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Since Cheryl Pearl Sucher married a New Zealander in 1999, she has been living between two worlds: the Greater New York City area and the Hawkes Bay of New Zealand, two places that are about as far apart on the planet as one can travel. Though she has often felt torn between her very different lives, she has also felt that her life experience and artistic vision has been enhanced by living as both an insider and an outsider in such different but extraordinary places. This interview series is born out of her experience between these worlds, and as a published fiction writer, bookseller, journalist, memoirist and avocational musical traveler.
In this edition, Cheryl talks to Stephen Hough, author of Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More
A collection of essays on music and life by the famed classical pianist and composer
Stephen Hough is one of the world’s leading pianists, winning global acclaim and numerous awards, both for his concerts and his recordings. He is also a writer, composer, and painter, and has been described by The Economist as one of “Twenty Living Polymaths.”
Hough writes informally and engagingly about music and the life of a musician, from the broader aspects of what it is to walk out onto a stage or to make a recording, to specialist tips from deep inside the practice room: how to trill, how to pedal, how to practice. He also writes vividly about people he’s known, places he’s traveled to, books he’s read, paintings he’s seen; and he touches on more controversial subjects, such as assisted suicide and abortion. Even religion is there—the possibility of the existence of God, problems with some biblical texts, and the challenges involved in being a gay Catholic.
Rough Ideas is an illuminating, constantly surprising introduction to the life and mind of one of our great cultural figures.
Stephen Hough, one of the most distinctive artists of his generation, performs with the world’s major orchestras and in recital at the most prestigious concert halls. He has made more than sixty CD recordings and has composed works ranging from solo piano to orchestral. As an author, he has written articles for The Guardian and The Times (London), and he wrote a blog for The Telegraph for seven years. His first novel, The Final Retreat, was published in 2018.
Cheryl Pearl Sucher is an award winning novelist, journalist and interviewer as well as one of McNally Jackson’s original gangsters. She is a trained alto who lives between New Jersey and New Zealand and is the curator for our Between Two Worlds author conversation series, where she has interviewed Min Jin Lee, Sigrid Nuñez, Susan Choi and Julie Orringer, among others.