Skip to main content

Clayderman, Richard

Richard Clayderman

Pianist

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Richard Claydermans billing as the worlds most popular pianist was put to the test during an interview on the Late Night with David Letterman show. The Christian Science Monitor reported that Letterman, in order to judge Claydermans reputation as a household name, placed a random telephone call to a home in Norway. The family not only knew him but owned several of his albums.

Born in France with the name Phillipe Pages, he took the stage name Clayderman (from his great-grandmother) because his real name was pronounced differently in every country. His father was a piano teacher and began teaching him classical piano at a young age. Clayderman entered the Paris Conservatory at age 12 and won first prize for piano at 16. When he found it difficult to make a living as a classical pianist, he turned to popular music and toured with French rock musician Johnny Hallyday. The turning point for Clayderman came when two record producers asked him to record Ballad pour Adeline. That record, which helped launch his career into popular music, has sold over 20 million copies in 38 countries.

Claydermans shift from classical to popular music not only allowed for his remarkably successful career but moved him into an area of music which he feels more closely reflects his personality. Although he still plays classical music on stage, for his United States concerts he focuses on romantic interpretations of popular American melodies. I think there is a need for this kind of romantic music, he told the Christian Science Monitor, because we live in a world [where] terrible things are happening, and people need music to feel a bit cool and relaxed. I think a proportion of my audience also listens to other styles. For example, Im sure the young people like rock n roll music. But through my playing they discover a new kind of musicclassical, because sometimes I play that on stage.

In a review of his 1985 New York debut at Carnegie Hall, Variety suggested that, besides his repertoire and lush playing style, Claydermans main appeal lies in his youth and boyish good looks. Coupled with his gentlemanly charm and his thick French accent, they promise to rope in the romantically inclined middle-aged Yank ladies who cotton to this ilk of soothing entertainment. The Los Angeles Times, also reporting on a performance from his first American tour, objected to the canned quality and cuteness of his audience interaction, but praised the show as otherwise well constructed, with a good balance of original and established songs, and of romantic ballads and high-stepping rhythm pieces.

For the Record

Name originally Phillipe Pages; born in France; father was a piano teacher; married twice; second wifes name, Christine; children: (first marriage) Maud; (second marriage) Peter. Education: Studied piano at the Paris Conservatory of Music.

For his American concerts he performed with a 16-piece orchestra and offered romantic crowd pleasers like Feelings, The Way We Were, and Chariots of Fire. The Christian Science Monitor remarked that, heard along with the orchestra, his performance had the solidity and strength that spring from his training as a classical pianist. His concerts are marked by standing ovations and multiple encores.

For People to accuse Clayderman of displaying all the emotions of a turnip and for Rolling Stone to describe him as a schlock pianist is perhaps unfair. He may not be Horowitz but his music does fill a need as evidenced by over two hundred gold and platinum records and international sales reported at over 40 million albums. If the sales figures Columbia claims are true, Stereo Review noted in 1987, he is probably the most successful pianist in the world today.

Selected discography

American releaseson Columbia

From Paris with Love, 1985.

Amour, 1985.

A Romantic Christmas, 1985.

Plays Love Songs of the World, 1986.

Romantic America, 1988.

Released on Teldec in 1986

Rhapsodie (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra).

Ti Amo.

Traumereien.

Traumereien 2.

Traumereien 3.

Zeit Zum Traumen.

Sources

Christian Science Monitor, January 6, 1986.

Los Angeles Times, January 26, 1985.

People, October 28, 1985.

Rolling Stone, April 25, 1985.

Stereo Review, April 1985; May 1987.

Variety, February 20, 1985.

Tim LaBorie

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Clayderman, Richard." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Clayderman, Richard." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/clayderman-richard

"Clayderman, Richard." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/clayderman-richard

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.