David Fray

Piano

Biography

Described by the press as the “perfect example of a thinking musician” (Die Welt) and acclaimed for his interpretations of music from Bach to Boulez, David Fray continues to thrill audiences worldwide as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician. He has collaborated with leading orchestras under distinguished conductors such as Marin Alsop, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph Eschenbach, Daniele Gatti, Paavo Järvi, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Sanderling, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Jaap van Zweden. Orchestral appearances in Europe have included the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, London Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Salzburg Mozarteum, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Orchestre de Paris and Orchestre National de France. David Fray made his US debut in 2009 with the Cleveland Orchestra followed by performances with the Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has given recitals at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory in New York, Chicago’s Symphony Hall and appears regularly at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Mozarteum Salzburg, London’s Wigmore Hall, Théâtre des Champs Elysées and many other major venues worldwide.

This season, the Théâtre des Champs Elysées presents a Bach cycle with David Fray performing the concerti for two, three and four pianos, Sonatas with Renaud Capuçon and Goldberg Variations.  Mr. Fray returns to North America with the Chicago Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. He gives recitals in Amsterdam, Budapest, Dresden, Milan, Istanbul and tours South Korea and Russia. He partners again with the violinist Renaud Capuçon for a series of duo recitals throughout Europe. Orchestral collaborations include the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony and play-directing the Casa da Musica Orchestra in Porto. In recent seasons, Mr. Fray toured Asia with the Dresden Philharmonic and Michael Sanderling, debuted with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and in recital at the Prague Spring Festival.  Last summer, he was a guest artist at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, where he taught a series of masterclasses in addition to playing a recital.

In 2017, Mr. Fray released a CD of selected Chopin piano works which was followed by his first public performances of the composer’s music. The previous disc called “Fantaisie,” an album of Schubert’s late piano works, was named Gramophone Editor’s Choice and has been called “one of the most appealing listening experiences of present times” and “exceptionally thoughtful and touching.” Mr. Fray records exclusively for Erato/Warner Classics and his first album with works of Bach and Boulez was praised as the “best record of the year” by the London Times and Le Soir. Mr. Fray’s second release, a recording of Bach keyboard concerti with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen was awarded by the German Recording Academy. An album with Schubert Moments Musicaux and Impromptus followed. Mr. Fray’s other critically acclaimed releases include Mozart piano concerti with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Jaap van Zweden and Bach Partitas Nos. 2 and 6 along with Toccata in C minor. In 2008 the TV network ARTE +7 presented a documentary on David Fray directed by the renowned French director Bruno Monsaingeon. The film “Sing, Swing & Think” was subsequently released on DVD.

David Fray holds multiple awards including the German Echo Klassik Prize for Instrumentalist of the Year and the Young Talent Award from the Ruhr Piano Festival. In 2008 he was named Newcomer of the Year by the BBC Music Magazine. At the 2004 Montreal International Music Competition, he received both the Second Grand Prize and the Prize for the best interpretation of a Canadian work.

David Fray started taking piano lessons at the age of four. He furthered his studies with Jacques Rouvier, who is also featured on his latest Schubert album, at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris.

Reviews

“One of the most appealing listening experiences of present times […] He sounds like no other pianist on record.”

Sinfini Music

“The perfect example of a thinking musician…his interpretation relies on understatement, intimacy and sincerity.”

Die Welt

More Reviews

“One of the most appealing listening experiences of present times […] He sounds like no other pianist on record.”

Sinfini Music

“The perfect example of a thinking musician…his interpretation relies on understatement, intimacy and sincerity.”

Die Welt 

“This is an artist we need to hear more of.”

The New York Times 

“Exquisite, imaginative, and virtuosic … an extraordinary balance between the head and heart, between technical rigor and poetry.”

The Epoch Times 

“He walks the fine line between expression and intellect, emotion and technique perfectly.”

Gesellschaft Freunde der Künste

“The young French pianist David Fray approaches music very seriously. Though his performances […] were musically refined and technically elegant, searching out the meditative qualities of the music was Mr. Fray’s top priority. ”

The New York Times

“Nothing feels prefabricated here, each repeat appears in a new light […] Even after four encores one finds it hard to leave the concert hall ”

Tagesspiegel

“There was such an intimacy between pianist and instrument that the listener could only watch longingly. Soon, however, it developed into an atmosphere of delicate melancholy, […] that invited to close one’s eyes and give in to the somnambulistic-dreamy music”

Bachtrack

“Fray has a brilliant technique and a serious and thoughtful regard for the music. ”

Chicago Tribune

“Fray has an instinctive Mozartean affinity – he communicates fresh ideas with subtle, stylistic deftness.”

BBC Review

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