Richard Clayderman

Richard Clayderman

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At the age of six, Richard was given an old piano by his grandfather and people say it was at this age that he could read music and play the piano with greater ease than he could speak his native French. He learned quickly and within two years he was entering and winning local competitions. At the age of 12, he was accepted at the Paris Conservatoire of Music, here, at 16 he won First Prize in the piano competition. A career as a classical concert pianist looked imminent. Then...he decided to give it all up. 

He says: "I didn't want to be a classical pianist. I wanted to be something different, so with a few friends, I created a rock group. It was a tough time and the little money we made was devoted to buying equipment". Then, when his father became seriously ill and was unable to support him financially, Richard worked as a bank clerk by day while at night he became an accompanist to a number of leading French entertainers. A year later, he became a session musician and accompanied Michel Sardou, Thierry LeLuron and Johnny Halliday. "I really didn't want to be a star", he says. "I was happy to play with the groups, happy to be session musician. I never dreamed of becoming a solo performer". 

Ballade for Adeline

However, his life changed dramatically in 1976 when he was auditioned by Olivier Toussaint and Paul de Senneville who run the French recording company Delphine. They were both extremely successful producers in their own right and needed a musician to interpret a gentle ballad which Paul had written for his daughter, Adeline, called "Ballade Pour Adeline". They were looking for a special kind of pianist...and from twenty other would-be-hopefuls, Richard Clayderman landed the job. 
At the time Richard was still known by his real name of Philippe Pages. "My producers were a little concerned about my real name as it is pronounced differently in every country" he says. "So to save confusion we decided to use my great grandmother's name, Clayderman, who was living in Sweden a century ago. This probably explains my blond hair and blue eyes". 

"Ballade Pour Adeline" became an outstanding success throughout Europe and much further afield. It was a hit first in Spain followed by Germany, France, South America, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom selling a massive 22 million copies along the way. Thus the career of Richard Clayderman was launched in spectacular style. 


Since 1978 the career of Richard Clayderman has flourished and enjoyed outstanding international success. He has toured the world regularly bringing his own distinctive style of music to millions. He is one of the most travelled entertainers in show business and sometimes undertaking over 200 concert appearances a year to satisfy the enormous demand his music has created. Highlights have included sell-out tours of Australia, South America, Europe, and Asia and in 1987 his first concert appearance in China which was screened on AsiaVision to an audience of over 800 million. Within 15 months, he had extended his popularity in South East Asia with tours of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, and returning to China 5 years later for several concerts and in, particular, Peking for 22,000 spectators.

World-wide success

And as the world grows smaller with international travel, Richard's popularity grows larger. In recent years he has toured Japan where he recorded the melody "Prince of the Rising Sun" in honor of the Crown Prince's marriage; Scandinavia, Greece, Sri Lanka, Malta, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, France, Dubai, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, and Russia, where he played two memorable concerts at the Kremlin in Moscow.

To date he has released more than 900 titles, received 63 Platinum and 263 Gold records world-wide.


Copyright Delphine Productions 2002