.RAZUMOVSKY Ensemble  

Philippe Graffin

Philippe Graffin's individual style of playing and outstanding achievements have already placed him among the finest of French violinists. A student of the late Joseph Gingold and Philipp Hirschhorn, Graffin's interpretations of his native repertoire compelled Gramophone magazine to proclaim "his understanding of the idiom is second to none," while his charismatic and imaginative performances of the mainstream and contemporary repertoire have been praised throughout the world by audiences and reviewers alike.

Philippe's ever-questing mind led him to rediscover original settings of classics such as Chausson's Poème and Ravel's Tzigane. He has also brought back to life the forgotten violin concertos of G. Fauré, Saint-Saens and the English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, as well as championing rare sonatas such as the Bruno Walter, thereby expanding the repertoire.
Philippe has shared the stage with some of the greatest musicians of our time: Lord Menuhin, M.Rostropovich, Martha Argerich, S.Commisiona, Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Additionally he regularly partners the cellists Gary Hoffman, Truls Mork, pianists Pascal Devoyon, Stephen Kovacevich, Claire Desert and the Chilingirian Quartet to name but a few.

Philippe Graffin is the founder and artistic director of "Consonances", the international chamber music festival of St Nazaire, France and is invited regularly to appear at the major chamber music festivals across Europe and the United States. He has also appeared in the BBC Proms Chamber Music series and been invited to be Artistic Director of several chamber music projects at London's Wigmore Hall.

As concerto soloist, he has performed all over Europe with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Hague's Residentie Orkest, Gothenburg Symphony, Czech Philharmonic and the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Contemporary music forms an essential part of Philippe's interests. A number of composers have written for him: most recently the Lithuanian composer Vytautas Barkauskas has received the 2004 Lithuanian National Prize for Art for his violin concerto "Jeux", which he dedicated to Philippe. David Matthews wrote his 2nd violin concerto for Philippe and Yves Prin, Vassili Lobanov and Philippe Hersant have written solo pieces for him. Currently, the celebrated Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin is writing a work for violin and orchestra for Philippe. Additionally, Barkauskas is creating a double concerto specifically for Graffin and violist Nobuko Imai, and American composer Joel Hoffman is composing a concerto for violin, accordion and strings.

Philippe has made numerous landmark recordings for Hyperion that have won many awards, including the complete Chausson chamber music, the three Saint-Saëns violin concertos and a wonderful collection of rare French works for violin and orchestra. Pending releases are discs of rare sonatas of Pierre de Breville and Joseph Canteloube with Pascal Devoyon for Hyperion and the concertos of Dvorak and Coleridge-Taylor for Avie records.

Last season Graffin gave recitals in Oxford, Cambridge, London, Paris, Amsterdam & Brussels as well as concerts in New York for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a wide range of concerto engagements from Mendelssohn in Amsterdam, Elgar in Johannesburg, Mozart in Monte-Carlo as well as Ravel & Wienawski with the Orchestra of Opera North and Miklos Rosza with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Following the huge success of his world première recording of the Coleridge-Taylor Violin Concerto with the Johannesburg Philharmonic, he made his BBC Proms debut in August 2005 with the work, rarely heard since its British premiere in 1912 under Sir Henry Wood. Current season highlights include tours to Japan & Korea, performances of Saint-Saëns Third Violin Concerto and Mozart's Third Violin Concerto in The Netherlands, a Welsh tour with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and a performance of Shchedrin's Concerto Cantabile with the St Petersburg Philharmonic.

Philippe Graffin plays a Domenico Busano violin, made in Venice, 1730.

Link to Phillipe's website