Called “the exemplary Violinist of the twenty-first century” by Yehudi Menuhin, the French violinist became known around the world not only for his virtuoso interpretation of the standards of the classical repertoire, but also for his interest in all kind of traditional music such as American bluegrass, Gypsy music, Irish fiddling or traditional music from India which he performs with the same devotion, love and mastery with which he does Bach, Mozart or Ravel. Born in Algeria, Gilles Apap was raised in Nice where he studied the violin with André Robert, then later at the Conservatoire de Musique de Nice with Gustave Gaglio and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Lyon with Veda Reynolds. He came to America to attend the Curtis Institute, and chose to settle in California where he held for some years the position of concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra.His talent was recognized by Yehudi Menuhin in 1985, when Apap first brought himself to the attention of the great pedagogue by winning the Contemporary Music prize at the prestigious International Menuhin Competition. He gained the affection of Lord Menuhin, who asked him to perform in Berlin at the Philharmony Hall with the Enescu Foundation in 1989.Shortly before Menuhin passed away, they worked together on a film upon Mozart’s 3rd violin concerty, inspired by Apap’s cadenza in the 3rd movement. The film had posthumously been completed “in memoriam Yehudi Menuhin” by ARTE and is still regularly broadcasted by European TV stations. Nowadays, Gilles Apap’s engagements include concerts in western and eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Balkans, on both coasts of the United States; Canada, South America, New Zealand, Brazil, India, China, Japan, Russia, Turkey, Israel and Australia.Aside most of the philharmonic orchestras of his home country France, he plays as a soloist with well-known orchestras around the world such as the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden, Hamburg, Nürnberg Philharmonics, just to name a few. Aside his work as a soloist, Apap is increasingly sought-after as musical leader of international Chamber orchestras, he appeared, among many others, at the Lille Mozart Festival, the festival de l’Ile de France, the Settembre Musica Torino/Milano, the Deutsche Mozartfestival, Germany’s Rheingau Music Festival, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, Int. Ludwigsburger Schloßfestspiele, Tokyo Festival, the legendary Paleo festival in Switzerland.With his trio, “Colors of Invention”, composed by well-known French soloists, such as the accordionist Myriam Lafargue, cymbalum player Ludovit Kovac and the double bass Philip Noharet, Apap is regularly performing concerts throughout Western and Eastern Europe, the U.S., Japan, Russia and South America.Aside from performing, Apap has taught at both the Menuhin Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland and the Menuhin School in London, as well as the University of Benares, India and holds numerous master classes every year at festivals and academies worldwide. He recorded 3 CDs for Sony Classical, but in 1999 he built his own record label Apapaziz Productions. Since then, he has released 6 classical albums with solo (“Hope you like violin?), symphonic (Mozart’s 3rd concerto w. the Sinfonia Varsovia) and chamber music (3 records with “The Colors of Invention”,“sans orchestre” the third of which was presented on the occasion of a tremendous successful concert at the prestigious Kammermusiksaal of the Berliner Philharmonie.)Apap’s discography is complemented by his album “friends” recorded with some of the stars of the international scene of ‘fiddl music’ and the CD “Gypsy Tunes – Californian style that is…” presenting Rumanian Dances by Bartok as well as Gypsy traditionals and standards by Django Reinhardt, Fats Weller, Bille Evans or Richard Rodgers Bruno Monsaingeon, noted for his films about Glenn Gould and Sviatoslav Richter, has made two documentaries featuring Apap: “The Unknown Fiddler of Santa Barbara” and “Gilles Apap Plays the Mozart Third Violin Concerto” recorded with the Sinfonia Varsovia and produced by ARTE. Another film, “Apap Masala” has been produced in spring 2004 in the US and in India, featuring some of the best classical violin players and teachers from India performing together with Apap classical mu- sic from both cultures, Europe and India. All three films have been and continue to be repeatedly broadcast by European TV channels.
Art form: musician, violinist