WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: Richard Clayderman announces only UK date for 2019 at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Richard Clayderman Celebrates his 40th Anniversary With Exclusive UK Performance
Best-selling recording artist and concert performer, Richard Clayderman, will present his only 2019 UK show at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, on Thursday, February 28. at 7.30pm
Marking the 40th anniversary of his music career, the French pianist has insisted that he is accompanied by a string section from Glasgow for the extra-special show, says show promoter David Halford.
“With album sales in excess of 150 million and with 267 gold and 70 platinum albums to his name, no wonder he has been crowned the most popular pianist in the world,” says David.
Richard Clayderman himself says: “For my concert in Glasgow, I will perform a good selection of my original titles as well as lots of romantic themes and film classics.
“I look forward to meeting all my fans at the Royal Concert Hall as they are true connoisseurs and we all share the same emotions and sensations.”
Richard’s distinctive piano style has seen him record more than 1, 200 melodies and, in the words of a German journalist, “he has arguably done more to popularise the piano around the world than anyone since Beethoven”.
“The Prince of Romance” (as he was dubbed by Nancy Reagan) was born Philippe Pagès. His father, a piano teacher, began teaching him how to play at a very young age. It is said that, at the age of six, Richard Clayderman could read music more adeptly than his native French.
When he was 12 years old he was accepted at the Conservatoire of Music where, at 16, he won first prize. He was predicted a promising career as a classical pianist. However, shortly after this, and much to everyone’s surprise, he cast aside his classical training and turned to contemporary music.
“I wanted to do something different,” Richard says, “So, with some friends, I created a rock group; it was a tough time, a hard time and the little money we could make was devoted to buying equipment. In fact, I used to feed myself so badly – mainly on sandwiches – that I had to have an operation for an ulcer when I was only 17.”
In order to earn a living, Clayderman found work as an accompanist and session musician. “I enjoyed it”, he says, “and it paid well at the same time. That is how I drew away from classical music, although it gave me a strong basis for what I do now.”
His talent did not go unnoticed and he soon became much in demand as an accompanist to such major French stars as Michel Sardou, Thierry LeLuron and Johnny Halliday.
His life changed dramatically in 1976 when he received a telephone call from Olivier Toussaint, a well-known French record producer, who, with his partner, Paul de Senneville, was looking for a pianist to record a gentle piano ballad. Paul had composed this ballad as a tribute to his new born daughter Adeline.
Philippe Pagès’ name was changed to Richard Clayderman (he adopted his great-grandmother’s last name to avoid mispronunciation of his real name outside France), and the single took off, selling an astonishing 22 million copies in 38 countries. It was called “Ballade pour Adeline”.
“When I signed him”, says Olivier Toussaint, “I told him that if we sell 10,000 singles it will be marvellous, because it was disco at that time and we could not bet on such a ballad being a winner. We could not imagine that it would be so big.”
It was the start of what has become an outstanding success story, and since that time, Richard Clayderman’s distinctive piano style has earned him superstar status all over the world.
Thursday, February 28, 2019 7.30pm
GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL
Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3NY
glasgowconcerthalls.com 0141 353 8000