After wavering for a long time between scientific and musical studies, Frank Braley decided to leave university to devote himself entirely to music. He studied with Pascal Devoyon, Christian Ivaldi and Jacques Rouvier at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, where he was unanimously awarded First Prizes in Piano and Chamber Music. In 1991 he won the First Grand Prize and the Audience Prize at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium. The public and the press agreed that he was a ‘great’ prize-winner, with exceptional musical and poetic qualities.
A regular guest in Japan, the U.S.A., Canada and throughout Europe, Frank Braley is a partner of the greatest orchestras such as the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre National de France, the Philharmonique de Radio-France, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the Orchestras of Bordeaux, Lille, Montpellier and Toulouse, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Philharmonique de Liège, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, the Gürzenich Orchester Cologne, the London Philharmonic, the BBC Wales Orchestra, the Royal National Scottish Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Orchestre de la Suisse Italienne, the Berlin Radio Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Göteborg Symphony, the Royal Copenhagen Orchestra, the Göteborg Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic… He has performed under the baton of conductors such as J-C Casadesus, Stéphane Deneve, Charles Dutoit, Armin Jordan, Hans Graf, Gunther Herbig, Christopher Hogwood, Eliahu Inbal, Marek Janowski, Kiril Karabits, Emmanuel Krivine, Louis Langrée, Kurt Masur, Ludovic Morlot, Paul Mc Creesh, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, John Nelson, Michel Plasson, Yutaka Sado, Michael Schonwandt, Antonio Pappano, Walter Weller…
Frank Braley has toured the world: in China with the Orchestre National de France, in Japan and China with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, in Italy with the Orchestre Français des Jeunes and the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto. He played at the Tanglewood Festival (USA) with the Boston Symphony conducted by Hans Graf and took part in the inauguration of Carnegie Hall’s new hall, Zankel Hall, in New York with the Ensemble Intercontemporain. He replaced Martha Argerich at the London Proms with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France conducted by Myung-Whung and performed in Amsterdam and Paris with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Bernard Haitink. He has recently performed in Paris at Pleyel with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne (Bach) and with the Orchestre National d’Ile de France (Mozart), at the Folles Journées in Nantes and in Japan with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot (Mozart), then this season with the Orchestre National de France and the Sao Paulo Symphony conducted by Stéphane Denève (Poulenc), with the Hong-Kong Sinfonietta, the Seoul Philharmonic and Hans Graf, the New Japan Philharmonic, as well as with his Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie on tour.
In recital, he has performed in Paris, London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels, Hanover and Ferrara, and in duo with Renaud Capuçon in Amsterdam, Athens, Birmingham, Bonn, Brussels, Rome, Florence, Trieste, New York, Washington, Paris and Vienna. In chamber music, his partners include Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Maria Joao Pires, Gérard Caussé, Eric Le Sage, Paul Meyer and Emmanuel Pahud.
In addition to his regular work as a soloist, he is passionate about original projects: he took part in a complete performance of Beethoven’s piano sonatas at the La Roque d’Anthéron festival, as well as in Rome, Bilbao, Lisbon, Tokyo and Brazil. He has performed the complete Sonatas for violin and piano with Renaud Capuçon in Paris (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées), Bordeaux, Grenoble, Chambéry, Lyon, as well as in London (Wigmore Hall), Luxembourg, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.
His discography includes: for Harmonia Mundi, the Sonata D.959 and the Klavierstücke D.946 (Diapason d’Or) – which have earned him flattering comparisons with Claudio Arrau, Alfred Brendel, Radu Lupu and Andras Schiff -, the piano works of Richard Strauss, Beethoven sonatas, a Gershwin recital and Poulenc’s Double Concerto (BMG – Prix Caecilia in Belgium, Diapason d’Or). He took part in Eric Le Sage’s recording of the complete Schumann works. With Naïve: the DVD Liszt- Debussy-Gershwin (Choc – Monde de la Musique). For Virgin Classics/Erato, he has recorded chamber music by Ravel, Le Carnaval des Animaux by Saint-Saëns (“Choc” by Monde de la Musique, “Recording of the month” by Gramophone), Schubert’s Trout, the Schubert trios with Renaud and Gautier Capuçon and the Hungarian Dances with Nicholas Angelich, and the complete Beethoven Sonatas for violin and piano with Renaud Capuçon, unanimously acclaimed by the critics.
After a first Schubert/Debussy/Britten/Carter recording, Frank Braley and Gautier Capuçon have recorded the complete Beethoven Sonatas for cello and piano for Erato.
The latest Erato release is Beethoven’s “Ghost” and “Archduke” trios, with Renaud and Gautier Capuçon (February 2020).
Frank Braley was Musical Director of the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie from 2014 to 2021. He has been Professor at the Paris Conservatoire since September 2011.