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CV Pierre Lafay English

Pierre Lafay was born in Paris in 1958. He began his clarinet studies in Rouen (France) and from 1977 continued his education with Reinier Hogerheijde at the Municipal Conservatory in Groningen (Netherlands). In 1985, he received his Performing Musician diploma with distinction for special musical and virtuoso qualities. In the course of his studies, Pierre took lessons with a number of teachers of international renown, including Jacques Lancelot and Guy Deplus in France and Karl Leister in Italy. He also participated in a chamber music programme taught by Ferrenc Rados at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest.

In addition to his studies, Pierre frequently performed as a soloist in large orchestral works, including concertos by Françaix, Weber, Mozart, Rossini and the Krommer double concerto.

Pierre continues to play in various chamber music ensembles, including his Ensemble Orchestral Nord Néerlandais, performing both at home and abroad. He also holds first chair for clarinet in Groningen’s New Philharmonic Orchestra.

Over the years, Pierre has gained a special reputation for performing modern music, commissioning works from several contemporary composers, such as Johan S. Riphagen and Jacob ter Veldhuis. These works were performed in a number of prominent centres for contemporary music, including De IJsbreker in Amsterdam.

Pierre recently recorded a CD with his Trio Cantorum (Pierre Lafay, clarinet; Martin Gruday, cello; Elina Malinova, piano) which contains his own transcriptions of César Franck’s Violin Sonata and Sergei Rachmaninov’s Trio Elégiaque. Pierre’s transcriptions of these works were hailed by critics as invaluable additions to the clarinet repertoire, and Trio Cantorum’s performance received unanimous praise from specialist reviewers.

For eight consecutive years, Pierre has been invited to act as programme director of the “Festival la Clef de la Cité” in the French town of Lavausseau, joining various ensembles to perform works of chamber music such as Bartok’s Contrasts, Stravinsky’s L’histoire du Soldat,  the Mozart and Brahms clarinet quintets, clarinet trios by Brahms , Zemlinsky, D’índy and Berger, sonatas by Brahms and Poulenc, and Mozart’s Gran Partita.

Pierre is also very active in the light music scene, leading a jazz septet, Fifty-six, as well as the Dutch Palladium Orchestra, with which he won first prizes at the Breda International Jazz Festival in 1989 and 1994.

Pierre Lafay currently teaches at the Music school in Groningen.



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