“The perfect example of a thinking musician…his interpretation relies on understatement, intimacy and sincerity.”
“This is an artist we need to hear more of."
Described by the German newspaper Die Welt as a “perfect example of a thinking musician” and lauded by the New York Times for his “musically refined and technically elegant performances,” pianist David Fray is a preeminent artist of his generation.
Acclaimed for his interpretations of music from Bach to Boulez, Fray performs in the world’s major venues as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician. He has collaborated with leading conductors, among them Semyon Bychkov, Christoph Eschenbach, Paavo Järvi, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, appearing with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and Orchestre National de France.
He made his US debut in 2009 with the Cleveland Orchestra, followed by performances with the Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has played recitals at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Chicago’s Symphony Center and performs regularly at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Mozarteum Salzburg, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Théâtredes Champs Elysées in Paris.
Fray has a deep and longstanding affinity for the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and is performing the composer’s monumental Goldberg Variations widely, at many prestigious venues. At the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, in addition to a performance of the Variations, he presents a cycle of Bach keyboard concertos for 2, 3, and 4 pianos with Fray, who play-directs from the piano, accompanied by his teacher, Jacques Rouvier, and his two former pupils Audrey Vigoureux and Emmanuel Christien.
Recent and upcoming highlights include returns to the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, and Monte Carlo Philharmonic, where he will be joined by Cecilia Bartoli in a program of Mozart’s works. He also accompanies baritone Peter Mattei in Schubert’s Winterreise at the Frankfurt Opera and Turku Music Festival in Finland. Fray continues to appear at the Hamburg Ballet, playing an all-Schubert program as an accompaniment to Ghost Light, by John Neumier, for which Fray won the Opus Klassik’s 2020 Award for “Innovative Concert of the Year.” He performed the Goldberg Variations at the Gulbenkian Festival in Lisbon, televised as part of “Pianomania II”; Bach keyboard concertos at the Firkušný Festival in Prague; a special recital with Fatma Said at the Eiffel Tower; and a recital tour of Asia.
Fray, a Warner exclusive artist, has released many albums; his latest is the Bach Goldberg Variations. Previous recordings include Bach violin sonatas with Renaud Capuçon; music of Chopin; Schubert’s late piano works; and Bach keyboard concertos for 2, 3, and 4 pianos. His first album featured works of Bach and Boulez and was praised as the “best record of the year” by the London Times and Le Soir, and his disc of Bach keyboard concertos with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie received an award from the German Recording Academy. Other recordings include Schubert’s Moments Musicaux and Impromptus, as well as Mozart piano concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Jaap van Zweden. In 2008, the TV network ARTE +7 presented a documentary featuring Fray, directed by the renowned French director Bruno Monsaingeon. The film Sing, Swing & Think was subsequently released on DVD.
In 2021, Fray founded and presented the first edition of a new Festival, L’Offrande Musicale, which takes place annually in his native region of Hautes-Pyrénées in southwestern France and lends support to people with disabilities.
David Fray has received several awards including the 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 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. He started taking piano lessons at the age of four and furthered his studies with Jacques Rouvier at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris.