Stephen Hough, Oregon Symphony

When: Sat., Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m. and Mon., Feb. 25, 8 p.m. 2013

Chief cultural blogger for the Telegraph of London. Prodigious recorder of more than 50 albums. MacArthur genius. Theologian. Poet. Queer activist. Composer. The guy wears a lot of (size 60) hats, but first and foremost: Stephen Hough plays piano and will forever and ever reign at the high altar of my personal pianoforte pantheon. Our very own Oregon Symphony is thankfully hosting Mr. Hough on his latest visit to Portland—this time 'round for a pair of concerts featuring the sometimes romantic, sometimes explosive, always kick-ass Piano Concerto No. 2 composed by Franz Liszt. If Hough's last appearance with the symphony was any indication, the pride of the Wirral Peninsula will be fueled by dark chocolate and British puddings, with his virtuosic wonders on full display as he gives all 88 keys the proverbial what-for. Look, I realize the social calendar of most Mercury readers has been full for weeks now, but c'mon... Fuck the cat show. Fuck the unicycle convention. Fuck the locally sourced paleo potluck. Globally adored virtuosos like Stephen Hough don't come to town every week, you know. Did I mention a Beethoven symphony is also on the program? Bring a change of shorts (you'll need 'em) and I'll see you at the Schnitz, goddammit. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY

Price: $21-90

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