Philippe Graffin’s individual style of playing and outstanding achievements have already placed him among the finest of French violinists.
Graffin graduated from the Paris Conservatoire with a First Prize at sixteen. He later studied with Prof. Josef Gingold in Bloomington, Indiana and with Philippe Hirschhorn.
In 1978 he was Laureate of the Fritz Kreisler Competition in Austria, where Lord Menuhin heard him play, and subsequently invited him to make his first recording under his baton. Graffin’s international career has seen him appear as soloist with major orchestras in the UK and Europe and at many international festivals and concert halls including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and the Berlin Konzerthaus and at the Royal Albert Hall in the BBC Proms.
Graffin is founder and Artistic Director of “Consonances”, the international chamber music festival of St.Nazaire, France, and is regularly invited to appear at major chamber music festivals accross Europe and the United States including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has appeared in the BBC Proms Chamber Music season and been invited to be Artistic Director of several chamber music projects at London’s Wigmore Hall.
A number of composers have written for him. Lithuanian composer Vytautas Barkauskas received the 2004 Lithuanian National Award for his violin concerto Jeux, which he dedicated to Philippe. David Matthews wrote his 2nd Violin Concerto for Philippe and Yves Prin, Vassili Lobanov and Philippe Hersant have written solo pieces for him. Philippe has also performed Rodion Shchedrin’s Concerto Cantabile under the baton of Mstislav Rostropovich and in Moscow to mark the composer’s 70th birthday and Shchedrin has written a concerto for Graffin – Concerto Parlando for Violin, Trumpet and strings.
Philippe Graffin’s recordings include Chausson’s complete chamber music, Saint-Saëns’ violin concertos and complete violin and piano music. Recordings for Avie include the world premiere of the Violin Concerto by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor coupled with the Dvorak Violin Concerto, premiere recordings of Vytautas Barkauskas’ ‘Jeux’ and ‘Duo Concertante’, “In the Shade of Forests”, the Bohemian world of Debussy, Enescu & Ravel, and the premiere recordings of the original manuscript versions of Elgar’s Violin Concerto and Chausson’s Poème.