Tuesday, February 17, 2015

An Anglophile violinist celebrates

Philippe Graffin. Photo: Marco Borrgreve

Hooray for Philippe Graffin, the Anglophile French violinist of London. He has been living here for 20 years and is marking this 0anniversary with three concerts on two days. Tonight at Cadogan Hall he gives the world premiere of Peter Fribbins's new Violin Concerto, written especially for him, with the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jean-Jacques Kantorow, and throws in Ravel's Tzigane for good measure.

On Friday he joins forces with musical friends at St John's Smith Square for an evening of two performances: first, at 6.30pm (NB time) - chamber music by Debussy, Elgar and David Matthews with a line-up including Raphael Wallfisch, Roger Chase, David Waterman, Alastair Beatson, Marisa Gupta, Emeline Dessi, Chen Halevi and David Matthews himself (more info here). Then at 9.15pm there's the fabulous Enescu Violin Sonata No.3, two premieres of works written for Philippe, and a collaboration with Tango Factory from Buenos Aires to conclude with some headily gorgeous Piazzolla.

We hope he will stay longer. Here's to the next 20 years.

Here is Philippe with pianist Claire Désert in the Valse Triste by Franz von Vecsey - a 'Hungarian Dances' Concert favourite, from the album he made to go with the novel in 2008...

[UPDATE: post amended 18/2/15 to reflect fact that he's been here 20 years, not 25. Moral: never blog after a good lunch.]