David Fray, piano

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Mike Lazaridis Theatre of Ideas - Perimeter Institute

After being named “Newcomer of the Year” in 2008 by BBC Music Magazine, French pianist David Fray has embarked on an active career as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician worldwide. In his most recent CD of Chopin works, David Fray is “fluid and shimmering.” With his natural elegance and exquisite musicality, Fray’s eloquent performance will make for an intoxicating evening of piano virtuosity.



Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Fantaisie in c minor KV 475
Sonata in c minor KV 457
Rondo in a minor KV 511

Franz Schubert:
Sonata in A major D 959                 


Described by the press as a “poet” and “perhaps the most inspired, certainly the most original Bach player of his generation,” David Fray continues to thrill audiences worldwide as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician. He has collaborated with leading orchestras under distinguished conductors such as Marin Alsop, Pierre Boulez, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph Eschenbach, Asher Fisch, Daniele Gatti, Paavo Järvi , Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Jaap van Zweden. Orchestral highlights in Europe have included performances with the Royal Concertgebouw, Bayerische Rundfunk, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, London Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Deutsche Sinfonie Orchester, Salzburg Mozarteum, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France and Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris. David Fray made his US debut in 2009 with the Cleveland Orchestra which was followed by performances with the Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Recital debuts followed in Carnegie Hall, at the Mostly Mozart Festival and in New York and the Chicago Symphony Hall.

In 2016/17 season Mr. Fray toured China accompanied by the Dresden Philharmonic and Michael Sanderling, followed by performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a European tour with the Paris Chamber Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra, RAI National Symphony and a return engagements with the Cleveland Orchestra among others. His recital tour took him to Paris Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Vienna Konzerthaus, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Stuttgart and Lyon to name a few. During last season, Mr. Fray returned to perform with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen at the BBC Proms, gave recitals at the Park Avenue Armory in New York and at Chicago’s Symphony Hall, debuted with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra play-conducting, appeared with Orchestre National de France under Riccardo Muti and again with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Jaap van Zweden.

Mr. Fray's 2017 release of selected Chopin piano works will be followed by his first public performances of the composer’s music. The previous disc called "Fantaisie," an album of Schubert's late piano works, was named Gramophone Editor's Choice and has been called “one of the most appealing listening experiences of present times” and “exceptionally thoughtful and touching.” Mr. Fray records exclusively for Erato/Warner Classics and his first album with works of Bach and Boulez was praised as the “best record of the year” by the London Times and Le Soir. Mr. Fray’s second release, a recording of Bach keyboard concerti with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen was awarded by the German Recording Academy. An album with Schubert Moments Musicaux and Impromptus followed. Mr. Fray’s other critically acclaimed releases include Mozart piano concerti with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Jaap van Zweden and Bach Partitas Nos. 2 and 6 along with Toccata in C minor. In 2008 the TV network ARTE +7 presented a documentary on David Fray directed by the renowned French director Bruno Monsaingeon. The film “Sing, Swing & Think” was subsequently released on DVD.

David Fray holds multiple awards including the prestigious German Echo Klassik Prize for Instrumentalist of the Year and the Young Talent Award from the Ruhr Piano Festival. In 2008 he was named Newcomer of the Year by the BBC Music Magazine. At the 2004 Montreal International Music Competition, he received both the Second Grand Prize and the Prize for the best interpretation of a Canadian work.

David Fray started taking piano lessons at the age of four. He furthered his studies with Jacques Rouvier, who is also featured on his latest Schubert album, at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris.

“This is an artist we need to hear more of … I’ll listen eagerly to whatever he wants to say.” – New York Times

“One of the most appealing listening experiences of present times… He sounds like no other pianist on record.” - Sinfini Music

“One of the most refined and poetic of pianists” – Classical Source