Richard Clayderman (born Philippe Pages, 28 December 1953, Paris, France) is a French pianist who has released numerous albums including the compositions of Paul de Senneville and Olivier Toussaint, instrumental renditions of popular music, rearrangements of movie soundtracks, ethnic music, and easy-listening arrangements of most popular works of classical music.
Clayderman learned piano from his father, a piano teacher.
At the age of twelve, he was accepted into the Conservatoire de Paris, where he won great acclaim in his later adolescent years.
Financial difficulties, not the least precipitated by his father’s illness, forestalled a promising career as a classical pianist.
So in order to earn a living, he found work as a bank clerk and as an accompanist to contemporary bands.
He accompanied French singers such as Johnny Hallyday, Thierry Le Luron, and Michel Sardou
In 1976, he was invited by Olivier Toussaint, a French record producer, and his partner Paul de Senneville, to record a gentle piano ballad. de Senneville had composed this ballad as a tribute to his new daughter ½Adeline½.
The 23-year-old Pages was auditioned along with 20 other pianists and got the job.
½He was an interesting musician with a soft touch and good technique½, said Toussaint. ½And he looked good, too½.
Pages’ name was changed to Richard Clayderman (he adopted his great-grandmother’s last name to avoid mispronunciation of his real name outside France), and the single took off, selling 22 million copies in 38 countries.
It was called ½Ballade pour Adeline½.
SuccessClayderman has recorded over 1,200 melodies, and has created a new romantic style through a repertoire which combines his trademark originals with classics and pop standards.
He has devoted much of his time to performing concerts, going as far as playing 200 shows in 250 days.
He has clocked up worldwide record sales of approximately 70 million, as of 2006, and 267 gold and 70 platinum discs to his credit.
He is popular in Asia and is noted by the Guinness Book of World Records as being ½the most successful pianist in the world½.
He lives in Normandy, with his wife Christine, son Peter, and daughter Maud.