The young French pianist David Fray was born on May 24, 1981 in Tarbes, France. He began to study music when he was 4 years old. In 1995 the Conservatory of Tarbes, his native city, awarded him gold medals in piano, music theory, and chamber music. In that same year he won the Concours des jeunes talents d’Aix en Provence (Young Talents of Aix en Provence Competition), which gave him the opportunity to perform the Grieg Concerto with the Manchester Sinfonia conducted by Michael Brandt. His application to study piano with Jacques Rouvier at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris was unanimously accepted. He graduated with top honors for his diploma recital, and was awarded the Feydeau de Brou Saint Paul grant. He studied chamber music with Christian Ivaldi and Claire Désert, and worked with Dimitri Bashkirov, Menahem Pressler, Paul Badura-Skoda and Christoph Eschenbach, with whom he played the Ravel G major concerto in 2005.
He made his debut on Virgin Classics with a recital of Bach and Boulez, an imaginative combination that reflects both his nationality and his dedication to the Germanic repertoire. Pierre Boulez advised him on the interpretation of the two works on his new disc and recommended him at the 2006 German Klavier Festival Ruhr, where David's recital won him the Young Talent prize.
His outstanding performances have won him numerous prizes and awards, including the Diploma of Outstanding Merit at the Fifth International Hamamatsu Competition in Japan, the Jeune soliste de Jeune soliste de l'année (Young Soloist of the Year) award, the most important of the prizes awarded by the Commission des radios publiques de langue française, and the Révélation classique (Classical discovery) prize from the French performing rights agency ADAMI. At the 2004 Montreal International Music Competition he won both the Second Grand Prize and the Prize for the best interpretation of a Canadian work "Impromptu" by Jacques Hétu, who dedicated the work to David.
David Fray now gives recitals in Europe, America and Asia. He appeared at the 2006 Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw, and the festivals of La Roque d'Anthéron and the Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse. He has played with the Orchestre de Paris and John Axelrod at the Salle Pleyel and the Orchestre National de France and Kurt Masur at the Théâtre de Champs-Elysées, and undertook a major concert tour of Italy with the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini under Riccardo Muti.
David Fray is an exclusive recording artist with Virgin Classics. His first release couples Bach's D major Partita and D minor French Suite with Boulez' Douze Notations pour piano and Incises. But it is primarily the German repertoire to which he has already dedicated his career. In an interview with the BBC Music Magazine, he outlined a straightforward ambition: 'if, over my life, I can play all the works of Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, Brahms and Schumann, then I shall be very happy!'
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