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 and St Petersburg Philharmonic.
Graffin performs works of many living composers such as Dutilleux and Saariaho and has had works written for him by Rodion Shchedrin, Vytautas Barkaukas, David Matthews, Philippe Hersant and Yves Prin. Following a performance of his Concerto Cantabile with Rostropovich conducting, Shchedrin wrote Concerto Parlando for Graffin which is now awaiting release on CD.
Philippe is a highly sought after chamber musician and is founder and artistic director of the « Consonances » chamber music festival of St Nazaire, France which in 2012 marked the 150th anniversary of Debussy. Philippe has also written a short children’s story for violin and narrator, La Fee Cachée (The Hidden Fairy), illustrated with musical excerpts by Mozart, Paganini, Kreisler and Ravel.
Recent highlights include concerts with the Georges Eneso Philharmonic in Bucharest and a recital in Venice at the Palazzetto Bru-Zane, televised by Mezzo as well as recitals in the summer at many French festivals including the Festival d’Orangerie de Sceaux. Graffin also featured on a BBC 4 documentary on Delius, performing Delius’s ‘Legende’ for violin and piano.
Season 2012/13 includes performances of the Elgar Concerto on tour with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, Dutilleux & Ravel with the Bielefeld Philharmonic, a return to the Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento, performances of Britten and Mendelssohn during a further tour of South Africa and a performance of Shchedrin’s Concerto Cantabile for the composer’s 80th birthday celebration with the Lithuanian Philharmonic. In addition to recitals and chamber concerts in London, Paris, Lisbon, Verona, among others, he will present a Bach recital at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Philippe will also be making recordings in Finland with the Turku Philharmonic and with the Royal Flemish Orchestra for Hyperion Records.
He plays a Domenico Busano violin, made in Venice, 1730. He is currently guest professor at the Royal Conservatorium Brussels and at the Hague Conservatory.