Alexis Ffrench has high ambition. This exceptional pianist and composer who trained at the Purcell School, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy wants to bring joy to a world of troubled times. He also wants to change the way people perceive classical music and to help make it more inclusive and democratic, more relevant to the society in which we live.
“I was watching the Last Night Of The Proms recently and was struck by the lack of diversity in the audience” he says in the thoughtful manner in which he considers everything. “The next day, a commentator said: “Who says classical music is dead? And I was taken aback as I feel there is no room for complacency in this regard. Where classical music is concerned, we still have a major job to do in removing perceived barriers. It’s incredibly important to me, and I feel we all have a duty to speak out and encourage positive change.”
With aspirations as bold as those, it’s clear that Ffrench has the dedication and talent to bring about such a change.
Ffrench displayed the skills of a musical prodigy when he was little more than a toddler: “When I Was four I stated playing on the dining room table, because we didn’t have a piano.” he says. He copied the actions of a pianist, even thought he had never had the opportunity to see one perform. In his head he was performing his Dad’s Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley records. Within a year Ffrench was jotting down string quartets in a little red book.
From the age of seven until he was eighteen, Ffrench played in church every Sunday and at weddings and funerals, on high days and holidays “The informed my ability to improvise. One Christmas my dad asked if I could incorporate his favourite song, Johnny Matthis’s ‘When A Child Is Born’, into the church’s processional music.” When no thunderbolt arrived and the roof didn’t care in, Ffrench knew he was onto something. His natural-born adroitness on the piano took him to the best music schools in the country, where his talents shone. He could write down even the most complex musical score by ear. “When I hear music, I see it” he says.
His success has made Ffrench a Spotify-era anomaly: a classical musician who has had over 75 million streams. Now this sharply-dressed man with a laser focus resolve that belies the fairy-dust in his fingers is ready to step things up. He has signed with Modest! Management, home to a brace of all-conquering pop acts, including Little Mix, Oly Murs and Niall Horan.
Alexis Ffrench debut album on Sony Music Evolution sees Alexis propel himself to yet further heights. It includes guest collaborate from international classical harpist Lavinia Meijer.
Reborn – featuring Lavinia Meijer
Flow and Begin Again
Where Worlds Collide
Waiting to Breathe
The Last Post (Evolution)