David Fray

Lucerne Symphony Orchestra debut: January 17, 2024

Piano play at the highest level

For some years now, French pianist David Fray has been one of the world stars of the younger generation.
Born in Tarbes (southern France) in 1981 to a German teacher and a Kant-and-Hegel scholar, David Fray began playing the piano at the age of four and later completed his studies with distinction with Jacques Rouvier at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. The young pianist’s career was nurtured by such distinguished artists as Dmitri Bashkirov, Paul Badura-Skoda, Christoph Eschenbach and Pierre Boulez.

David Fray works with famous conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jaap van Zweden and is invited by the world’s major orchestras, including the Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the top American orchestras New York Philharmonic, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago Symphony. Fray has made guest appearances at the Salzburg Festival and the Tanglewood Festival, and now performs in nearly every prestigious concert hall in Europe, Asia and the United States, from London’s Wigmore Hall, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Vienna’s Musikverein to New York’s Carnegie Hall, where he made his recital debut in November 2010.

David Fray has enjoyed great success with critics and audiences alike, not least with his CD releases, for which he was awarded the “ECHO Klassik” in both 2008 and 2009. In early 2010, he also received the important French music prize “Victoires de la musique classique” in the category “Instrumentalist of the Year”. On his exclusive label ERATO / Warner Classics, David Fray has now released eight albums, with works by Chopin (Nocturnes), Schubert (Impromptus, Sonata D894), Mozart (Piano Concertos No. 22 & 25 with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Jaap van Zweden) and Bach (Partitas; Piano Concertos with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, also documented on film on the DVD “Swing, Sing and Think” by Bruno Monsaingeon). November 2018 saw the release of his latest album of J.S. Bach’s concertos for two, three and four pianos BWV 1060-1063 and 1065.

The selection of his repertoire clearly reflects Fray’s stated preference for the works of the great German-Austrian tradition. Although often compared by the press and public to Glenn Gould – because of his preference for Bach and certain parallels in habitus – David Fray sees his role model primarily in Wilhelm Kempff, whose “perfect combination of structural thinking and pure poetry” impresses him.

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