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, St Petersburg Philharmonic and Georges Enescu Philharmonic. Graffin performs works of many living composers and has had works written for him by Rodion Shchedrin, Vytautas Barkaukas, David Matthews, Philippe Hersant and Yves Prin. Philippe is a highly sought after chamber musician and was founder and artistic director of the "Consonances", a chamber music festival held in St Nazaire, France, from 1990-2015. Philippe has also written a short children’s story for violin and narrator, La Fée Cachée (The Hidden Fairy), illustrated with musical excerpts by Mozart, Paganini, Kreisler and Ravel.
A recent highlight was a three-concert event at Theatre Flagey in Brussels, curated by Philippe, around the iconic French actor, Gérard Depardieu, exploring the relationship between poetry and music. The event was recorded by Belgian television for broadcast in many European countries and for a documentary.
Engagements this season include the German première of the violin concerto of British composer, Peter Fribbins, returns to both Sweden’s Camerata Nordica and the Gothenburg Symphony, an invitation to perform the Elgar concerto in Princeton, New Jersey and an eleventh tour in South Africa performing with the Kwa-Zula Natal Philharmonic and Cape Town Philiharmonic. Chamber music engagements include a performance of Enescu’s Octet in Bucharest’s Atheneum, the Mustonen and Schubert piano quintets at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, a Dohnanyi programme with Ensemble Kheops in Paris and a televised concert with Gary Hoffman and Eliane Reyes in Liège. Following the success of his festival at Flagey in Brussels with Gerard Depardieu, recorded and documented by Belgian Television RTBF, in September 2017 Graffin curates ‘Ysaÿe’s Knokke’, a festival in Knokke le Zout, where the great Belgian violinist Ysaÿe had his summer residence.
His discography includes three contributions to Hyperion’s Romantic Violin series – the three Saint-Saëns concertos, world-premiere recordings of concertos by Cliffe and d’Erlanger and, the works of Joseph Jongen with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and Martyn Brabbins. For Avie Records he made the world premiere recording of the Coleridge-Taylor violin concerto and recorded Elgar’s Violin concerto in the original manuscript version. Philippe has also recorded the concertos of David Matthews for Dutton Records and Philippe Gaubert’s Violin Concerto for Timpani Records. Recent releases on the Dutch Cobra label include the world premiere of the violin concerto of Finnish composer Tauno Marttinen, with the Turku Philharmonic, a recording of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, the first to include the cadenza by Ysaÿe, coupled with Prokofiev’s Five Melodies and Shchedrin’s Concerto Parlando and the Mendelssohn and Schumann violin concertos with the Orchestra di Padova et del Veneto. Graffin’s recent release for Dutton Vocalion of the Britten and Delius concertos received great acclaim.
In demand as a teacher, Philippe Graffin, is a professor at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (CNSM) and at the Brussels Conservatoire Royal.