Rhapsody in Blue (transcription for solo piano by the composer) - George Gershwin,
French pianist Frank Braley has fashioned a highly successful career both as a soloist/recitalist and chamber music collaborator.
A gifted child who would go on to win the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Competition, Braley has appeared with many of the leading conductors across the globe, including Dutoit, Hogwood, Marriner, and Masur, and with major orchestras in Berlin, Paris, London, Rotterdam, Tokyo, Boston, and Baltimore. Braley has also performed chamber music fare with such distinguished artists as violinist Renaud Capuçon, cellist Gautier Capuçon, clarinetist Pascal Moraguès, and many others. His repertory is just as varied: while much of it includes a fair number of French works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Poulenc, and company, it also takes in a disparate range of compositions by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Dvorák, Richard Strauss, and Gershwin. Braley has made numerous recordings for such labels as EMI, Harmonia Mundi, and RCA.
Frank Braley was born in Corbeil-Essonne, France, in 1968. He studied piano from age four and while he exhibited rare talent, he initially studied for a career in science. At 18, however, he enrolled at the Paris Conservatory, where he studied piano with Pascal Devoyon and Jacques Rouvier.
In 1991 Braley won the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Competition, launching his highly successful career. To say the victory was unexpected would be an understatement: it was the 21-year-old Braley's first international competition. Thereafter, he regularly toured Europe, Asia, and the U.S. Among Braley's most significant early recordings was a 1998 disc of Richard Strauss' Op. 5 Sonata and other Strauss piano works, released on Harmonia Mundi (reissued in 2008).
In July 2002 Braley debuted with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20, at the Tanglewood Festival, with conductor Hans Graf. The following year (September 18) he debuted at Carnegie Hall (Zankel Hall) with Pierre Boulez and the Ensemble InterContemporain. Braley has fearlessly lent his support to student performers, not necessarily a career-boosting strategy: in 2007 he toured several French cities giving a series of concerts with the French Youth Orchestra under conductor Jean-Claude Casadesus.
Among Braley's later recordings is the 2009 Alpha Productions CD of Schumann piano works (Ballszenen and Kinderball, both for piano four-hands), with pianist Eric le Sage. Braley's 2010-2011 concert schedule included a tour of London, Singapore, Paris, and other French cities, with Renaud Capuçon, performing the cycle of Beethoven's 10 sonatas for violin and piano.