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David Fray

Pianist David Fray has a repertory that emphasizes Bach but extends through the 19th century. His unorthodox interpretations of Bach have earned comparisons with Glenn Gould, although he professes to have been more influenced by pianist Wilhelm Kempff. Fray was born in Tarbes in southwestern France on May 24, 1981. He was raised there by two teachers and took up the piano at age four. Fray attended the Henri Duparc Music Conservatory in Tarbes and then went on to the Conservatoire de Paris, studying with Jacques Rouvier. A Second Grand Prize at the Montreal International Music Competition in 2004 led to his signing with the ATMA Classique label, where he released an album of works by Schubert and Liszt. Fray made his first appearance in the U.S. with the Cleveland Orchestra in 2009 and went on to appear with major American orchestras such as the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Fray moved to Virgin Classics in 2007 for the well-regarded album David Fray plays Bach and Boulez, and since then, he has recorded for that label and for the associated Erato/Warner Bros. imprint in France. He has appeared with European groups, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic, and his recital credits include appearances at such venues as the Cité de la Musique in Paris. A majority of his recordings have featured Bach's music, often in daring interpretations that have drawn comparisons to Gould. Fray also plays chamber music, and in 2019, he joined with violinist Renaud Capuçon for a set of Bach's violin-and-keyboard sonatas on Erato. In 2021, he issued a recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, BWV 988. His appearances for the 2021-2022 season included soloist slots with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Monte Carlo Philharmonic, the latter in collaboration with mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli. He also planned to accompany baritone Peter Mattei in performances of Schubert's song cycle Die Winterreise, D. 911, in Frankfurt, Germany, and Turku, Finland, and soprano Fatma Said in a concert at the Eiffel Tower.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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