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CPE Festival and MGConcerts present




Sunday January 29, 2023 - 12 p.m.

MIM, Rue Montagne de la Cour 2, 1000 Brussels



Program: “In the shades of forests”

Ernst von Dohnanyi (1877 - 1960)

- “andante rubato alla zingaresca” for violin and luteal

George Enesco (1881 - 1955)

- third sonata “in the popular Romanian style” op 25

Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)

- "more than slow" for violin and lutheal

- Minstrels - transcription for violin and piano

Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)

- “Lullaby on the name of Gabriel Fauré”

- Tzigane, version for violin and lutheal

Hearing Radicz the place where you are disappears… (1910) 

He is a man who loves music much better than most of us, and gives you, in the banal setting of a coffee room, the illusion of sitting in the shade of forests.

January 8, 1911, Claude Debussy about the Hungarian gypsy musician Radicz . 


The Luthéal   is a piano on which is installed a device invented by the Instrument Maker  Belgian Georges Cloetens allowing to modify the _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb5breb-58d_tim of the instrument and to imitate sounds such as the harp, the harpsichord, or the Cymbalum. 

The first composer to use this invention was Ravel, for his “tzigane” for which he composed a specific score, using the various possibilities of the instrument through all the variations of the work. 

It was this same search for the sonority of the cimbalom that inspired Debussy to write a part for cimbalom for his arrangement of his “more than slow” in 1912. 

The original instrument for which Ravel composed his gypsy arrangement and which he will also include in 'l'enfant et les sortilèges' prompted me   to commission a new work from the composer Philippe Hersant, Il a few years ago, for violin and lutheal.

Inspired by Debussy   this program goes in search of stamps that seem to come to us from the depths of the ages, from the origin of the world, to the depths of ourselves, "in the shade of the forests". . (Philippe Graffin, October 2022)


"His understanding of the idiom is second to none" ( Gramophone Magazine : Saint-Saëns concertos / Hyperion).

His passionate interpretations, his instantly recognizable sound, his numerous rediscoveries and creations which have enriched the repertoire, make Philippe Graffin one of the most outstanding French violinists of his generation. 


A pupil of Josef Gingold in the United States (disciple of Ysaye) and of Philippe Hirschhorn in particular, Philippe Graffin was a laureate of the Fritz Kreisler Competition in Austria where Lord Menuhin discovered him and invited him to record his first album under his direction.

Philippe Graffin soon moved to England where over the next twenty years he made numerous recordings and participated in prestigious concerts. 

He has shared the stage with some of the iconic artists of our time such as Mstislav Rostropovich,  Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Roger Norrington, Yannick Nezé-Séguin, Sergiu Comissiona, Russian composer and pianist Rodion Shchedrin, Ivry Gitlis or the actors Gérard Depardieu and  Marie Christinne Barrault, for example.


Many composers have written and dedicated their   works to Philippe Graffin: the Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin ("Concerto parlando"), David Matthews (his concerto n°2), the Lithuanian composer Vytautas Barkauskas (" Jeux" for violin and orchestra, as well as his double concerto with violist Nobuko Imai). Philippe also premiered Yves Prin's concerto, and several works written for him by Philippe Hersant.

Recently, he premiered and recorded English composer Peter Fribbins' concerto, specially written for him. 

He has been invited to prestigious festivals such as the BBC Proms, Gstaad Festival, Enescu Festival in Bucharest, Radio-France Festival, Kuhmo (Finland), Rotterdam Gergiev Festival, the "Folles Journées de Nantes", Festival Musique 3 ( Brussels), the "Printemps du violon" (Paris), Pablo Casals festival.

His discography is very rich and already includes fifty discs, including more than thirty concertos (a large part of them being recorded for the first time).

As a chamber musician, Philippe has been a guest at the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society in New York, and regularly   at Wigmore Hall in London. He is also the founder of "Consonances", a festival in Saint-Nazaire which he directed for 25 years.

He also created   several festivals around the composer Eugène Ysaye, at the Wigmore Hall in London, with the Orchester de la Résidence de la Haye, as well as in Brussels and _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_in Knokke-le-Zoute in Belgium, where the great violinist had his summer residence. 


Likewise, he invited the actor Gérard Depardieu for a concert-poetry event   "The night belongs to us" in Flagey, Brussels, broadcast by Belgian television, and of which a documentary was realized . 


Philippe has recently discovered, completed, edited and played for the first time an unpublished sonata for solo violin by the composer Eugène Ysaÿe, 

“Posthumous sonata op 27 bis”, written at the same time as the famous six sonatas. A work that he recorded as a world premiere, plays in many countries, from Japan to Europe via the United States, notably during the Ysaÿe festival in Brussels organized by La Chapelle musicale Reine Élisabeth.

He participated in the documentary produced by the RTBF, “Ysaÿe is not dead”,  as well as directed the film “Ysaÿe's secret sonata” on the discovery of this sonata. (Ysaye) 


His latest recordings include “fiddlers's blues” with Claire Desert, for Avie Records, to critical acclaim and “crescendo” magazine's record of the month.

“A la valse” around the octet of Enesco, “la valse” by Ravel and Debussy, Britten's concerto with the London Philharmonia ("Disc of the month" for Gramophone Magazine), as well as concertos by Mendelssohn and by Schumann with the Padua Chamber Orchestra, and works for violin and orchestra by Joseph Jongen with the Antwerp Orchestra, for hyperion records . 

He has just recorded Lalo's “Spanish Synphony” with the Scottish National Orchestra. 


In 2020 philippe Graffin created the “traces” festival whose mission is to discover rare works and composers who disappeared during the holocaust. 

Philippe Graffin teaches at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and at the CNSM in Paris.

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