Philippe Graffin

Biography

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© Benjamin Ealovega
Violinist Philippe Graffin has established an indisputable reputation for his interpretations of the French repertoire, natural perhaps for one of the few pupils of Josef Gingold, himself a pupil of Ysaye for whom most of the violin repertoire of this era was written.

Philippe made his first recording with Yehudi Menuhin conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and his many highly acclaimed recordings since then bear witness to a questing mind and include many world premieres. He has rediscovered original settings of Chausson's Poème and Ravel's Tzigane and has championed the forgotten violin concertos of Fauré and the English composer Coleridge-Taylor which he has recorded and performed at the BBC Proms.

As concerto soloist, he has performed with orchestras such as The Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken the Residentie Orkest, Gothenburg Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Orchestra di Padova et del Veneto, St Petersburg Philharmonic and Georges Enescu Philharmonic. Graffin performs works of many living composers and has had works written for him by Rodion Shchedrin, Vytautas Barkaukas, David Matthews, Philippe Hersant and Yves Prin.

Philippe is a highly sought after chamber musician and is founder and artistic director of the "Consonances", a chamber music festival held in St Nazaire, France, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015. Philippe has also written a short children's story for violin and narrator, La Fée Cachée (The Hidden Fairy), illustrated with musical excerpts by Mozart, Paganini, Kreisler and Ravel.

Last summer's activities included recording the Delius concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra which is now pending release, coupled with Britten's Violin Concerto with The Philharmonia. Philippe's concerto engagements in 2014/15 include the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin, Sweden's Camerata Nordica and Lithuanian National Philharmonic. He has also marked his twenty years in London (which began with an Ysaÿe festival at Wigmore Hall in 1995) with a Cadogan Hall concert with the English Chamber Orchestra, performing the world premiere of a new concerto written especially for him by British composer, Peter Fribbins.

A highlight of this season was a three-concert event at Theatre Flagey in Brussels, curated by Philippe, around the iconic French actor, Gérard Depardieu, exploring the relationship between poetry and music. The event was recorded by Belgian television for broadcast in many European countries. A documentary on the project from conception to completion is also available. In France Philippe has chamber music concerts at Salle Adyar in Paris as well as concerts for the prestigious Concerts du Poche series. He also returns for a third consecutive year to Amsterdam's Concertgebouw.

His discography includes three contributions to Hyperion's Romantic Violin series - the three Saint-Saëns concertos, world-premiere recordings of concertos by Cliffe and d'Erlanger and, the most recent release, the works of Joseph Jongen with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and Martyn Brabbins. For Avie Records he made the world premiere recording of the Coleridge-Taylor violin concerto and recorded Elgar's Violin concerto in the original manuscript version. Philippe has also recorded the concertos of David Matthews for Dutton Records and Philippe Gaubert's Violin Concerto for Timpani Records. New releases include the world premiere of the violin concerto of Finnish composer Tauno Marttinen, with the Turku Philharmonic, and a new recording of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, the first to include the cadenza by Ysaÿe, on a CD which also includes Prokofiev's Five Melodies orchestrated by Rodion Shchedrin and Shchedrin's Concerto Parlando, written for Philippe. Both these latest CDS are on the Dutch label, Cobra.He plays a Domenico Busano violin, made in Venice, 1730. In demand as a teacher, Philippe Graffin, is a professor at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (CNSM) and at the Brussels Conservatoire Royal.


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