David Fray (born May 24, 1981) is a French classical pianist. Voted "Newcomer of the Year 2008" by the BBC Music Magazine, Fray has gained attention for his musical interpretation as well as his eccentricities in performance and rehearsal, which were highlighted in the 2008 ARTE documentary about him titled "Swing, Sing and Think".
David Fray was born in Tarbes, near the Pyrenees. Both his parents are teachers, his father's subject being philosophy and his mother's German.
Fray entered the classical music world after receiving the Second Grand Prize at the Montreal International Music Competition in 2004. After this acclaim he released "Schubert, Liszt", a CD compilation of works by the two composers, on the ATMA Classique label. More recently, he has done video recordings of piano concertos by J.S. Bach with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, as well as Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy during the Festival of La Roque d'Anthérnon. In 2008 he released a second CD, "Bach / Boulez Piano Recital", which was another compilation of two composers from separate musical periods. He has performed with many established conductors such as John Axelrod, Kurt Masur, Jaap van Zweden and Christoph Eschenbach.
Fray has won a number of awards, including the "Révélation Classique" (Classical Discovery) from ADAMI, the "Jeune Soliste de l'Année" (Young Soloist of the Year) from the French Language Public Radio Coalition, and the Diploma for Outstanding Merit from the Hamamatsu Competition.
In July 2008, he married actress Chiara Muti, daughter of conductor Riccardo Muti.
Thanks to his antics at the piano, his relatively young age, and his recent focus on Bach, Fray has been compared to pianist Glenn Gould. As seen in the ARTE documentary, he rehearses with excitement and playfulness, bobbing his eyebrows, humming along with the German orchestra, bending low over the piano, repeatedly joking with his fellow musicians, and even conducting himself with one hand, in Gould's signature style.
- Schubert: Fantasia in C Major/Lieder Transcriptions/Sonata / David Fray (Atma 2006)
- Bach: Partita in D major; French Suite BWV 812 in B minor / Boulez: Douze Notations pour piano; "Incises" / David Fray (Virgin Classics 2007)
- Bach: Keyboard Concertos BWV 1052, 1055, 1056 & 1058 / David Fray, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (Virgin Classics 2008)
- Swing, Sing & Think. David Fray Records J.S. Bach / A film by Bruno Monsaingeon (Virgin Classics DVD 2008)
- Schubert: Impromptus Op.90, Moments Musicaux, Allegretto in C minor / David Fray (Virgin Classics 2009)
- Mozart: Piano Concertos 22 & 25 / David Fray, Philharmonia Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden (Virgin Classics 2010)
- David Fray Records Mozart - Piano Concertos Nos.22 & 25 / A film by Bruno Monsaingeon (Virgin Classics DVD 2011)
- Bach: Partitas Nos.2 & 6, Toccata BWV 911 / David Fray (Virgin Classics 2013)
- Biography at EMI Classics
- David Fray Bach website
- David Fray Schubert website
- Bach Cantatas Short Biography