Philippe Graffin

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Philippe Graffin (born 1964) is a French violinist and recording artist. He was born in Romilly-sur-Seine, France.

The French Violinist Philippe Graffin was a student of the late Joseph Gingold and Philippe Hirschhorn and has established a particular reputation for his interpretations of his native repertoire as well for his interest in rare and contemporary works. He rediscovered original settings of classics such as Chausson's Poème and Ravel's Tzigane and has also championed the forgotten violin concertos of G. Fauré and the concerto by English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

Philippe has shared the stage with some of the greatest musicians of our time: Yehudi Menuhin, M. Rostropovich, Martha Argerich, and Sergiu Comissiona. He regularly partners with cellists Gary Hoffman and Truls Mork; pianists Pascal Devoyon, Steven Kovacevich, Claire Désert, as well as with the Chilingirian Quartet and Tango Factory among others. A number of composers have written works for him including David Matthews, Yves Prin, Vassili Lobanov and Philippe Hersant. The Lithuanian composer Vytautas Barkauskas dedicated his award-winning violin concerto "Jeux" to Philippe and wrote a double concerto Duo Concertante for him and violinist Nobuko Imai and Russian composer, Rodion Shchedrin wrote a concerto for violin, trumpet and string orchestra, dedicated to Philippe.

He has performed with many of Europe's finest orchestras such as The Philharmonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, George Enescu Philharmonic, St Petersburg Philharmonic and with chamber orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Nordica and Orchestra di Padova et del Veneto. He works often in Lithuania where he played under the baton of Mstislaw Rostropovich in 2001. He tours regularly to South Africa and has played with the orchestras of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. He has performed in prestigious venues such as Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, the Palazetto Bru-Zane in Venice and for series such as France's Concerts du Poche and Rive Gauche Musique and at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall. He was the founder of the chamber music festival, Consonances de Saint-Nazaire, and its artistic director throughout its twenty-five year history. He has also been artistic director of several events at London's Wigmore Hall. Following the success of his festival at Flagey in Brussels with Gerard Depardieu, recorded and documented by Belgian Television RTBF, Graffin curates 'Ysaÿe's Knokke' in September 2017, a festival in Knokke le Zout, where the great Belgian violinist Ysaÿe had his summer residence.

Philippe Graffin plays a Domenico Busano violin, made in Venice, 1730. In demand as a teacher Philippe Graffin gives masterclasses around the world and is currently professor at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique and guest professor at the Brussels Conservatoire Royal.

Recordings[edit]

Philippe Graffin has made numerous landmark recordings for a variety of independent record labels. For Hyperion his recordings include the Ysaÿe sonatas, the chamber music of Chausson, the three Saint-Saëns violin concertos, a collection of rare French works for violin and orchestra and rare sonatas of Pierre de Bréville and Joseph Canteloube, world première recordings of concertos by Frederic Cliffe and Baron Frédéric d'Erlanger and a disc of works by the Belgian composer Joseph Jongen. For Avie Records he made the world premiere recording of the Violin Concerto of Afro-English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, a recital disc of Debussy, Enesco & Ravel with Claire Désert, Elgar’s Violin Concerto, coupled with Chausson's Poème in original manuscript versions, shortlisted for the Gramophone awards and a double CD of Mozart duos and the Sinfonia Concertante with Nobuko Imai. He recorded Miklós Rózsa’s Sinfonia Concertante with Raphael Wallfisch for ASV and for Onyx Classics he recorded a virtuoso recital CD entitled ‘Hungarian Dances’ and a disc of Schumann works. For Dutton Vocalion he has recorded works for violin and orchestra of Frederick Delius and the violin concertos of David Matthews, one of which was dedicated to him. For Timpani Records he recorded Philippe Gaubert's violin concerto. His most recent recordings include releases on the Dutch Cobra label of the violin concerto of Finnish composer Tauno Marttinen with the Turku Philharmonic, a recording of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto and Shchedrin's Concerto Parlando and the Mendelssohn and Schumann violin concertos, and a release for Dutton Vocalion of the Britten and Delius violin concertos which has had critical acclaim.

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