‘Ballade pour Adeline’, these three words are forever etched upon our memory, like the face of this legendary pianist Richard Clayderman, who has been delighting us for 40 years.
Launched with the family name of Richard Clayderman, Philippe Pagès, former accompanist to Thierry Le Luron, brought out 80 million albums during the record’s heyday. A gamble for instrumental music. “My records are played almost everywhere: in some restaurants, but also in car parks,” he explains. “That being said, they also play great classical works too”.
The man has appeared 17 times at the Salle Pleyel, temple of highbrow music, before haunting the immense yet poorly-heated halls of the People’s Republic of China.
Reserved, pleasant to deal with and infinitely modest, the pianist never imagined his career would take off in the way it did, after being discovered by Olivier Toussaint and Paul de Senneville, former manager of Michel Polnareff and Christophe. At the time, these impresarios were looking for a pianist to record a composition that had never been heard before, ‘Ballade pour Adeline’. “They embarked upon a type of casting call. If they heard my name crop up a lot it’s because I was involved in numerous recording sessions.”
After having turned his back on a future as a classical concert pianist, the immaculately suited man turned his hand to the budding French ‘chanson’ scene. It was at the beginning of the 1970s: he can be heard on the recordings of Pierre Groscolas or Michel Jonasz, the period of “Les Vacances au bord de la mer”.
Richard Clayderman has performed over 2,000 concerts worldwide to over six million spectators, has recorded over 1,000 titles, has sold over 80 million albums and has been awarded 340 gold and platinum discs. Over 50,000 bouquets of flowers have been presented to him on stage. He has played his favourite ballad over 8,000 times.
He has played with the most prestigious orchestras on the planet… the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra of Australia, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Beijing Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra.
Now finally making a return to Belgium for a stand-out concert he will be playing at Stadsschouwburg Antwerpen on 17 June. A moment not to be missed!
Tickets: 38, 58, 68 and 88 euros.