Born to a piano teacher,Clayderman started studying to play piano at age six, and he was accepted at Conservatoire de Paris in Paris at age 12. After finishing Conservatory he worked as an accompanist and session musician. His life changed dramatically in 1976, when he recorded a single “Ballade pour Adeline” (Ballade for Adeline), composed by French musical producer Paul de Senneville. The single became an instant success, selling 22 million copies in 38 countries. Since then, he has recorded over 1000 songs and has become one of the most successful instrumental recording artists in the world, with reported record sales in excess of 70 million units worldwide. In the peak of his career he performed 200 concerts in 250 days.
He is often credited with pioneering the piano recordings of famous Hollywood soundtracks and pop music artists, such as ABBA and The Carpenters.
Clayderman has a curious market niche on third world countries, a fact mainly attributed by critics to his commercially-oriented performance of local and very popular music (especially love songs), and inexpensive, well-distributed records. On the other hand, there are people who refer to his work as elevator music, because of extensive playing of his production in neutral spaces as elevators, malls and other public spaces. Richard Clayderman, however, according to the linked interview, does not see this classification as negative as, according to him, he feels pleased to turn people’s workplaces and daily lives into more pleasant places through the use of his music.
Clayderman’s music continues to be exceedingly popular in East Asia, in places such as Japan, Taiwan and Mainland China. Some Chinese music teachers attribute the popularity of his music in Mainland China to the increase in the number of piano students since the 1980s, and some even believe in the other way: it was due to the popularity of Clayderman’s music that the number of piano students surged. According to the book Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams, published 1990, Clayderman was the most-played artist in China then.
Richard Claydermen Official Asia Website:
Buy titles at:
Richard Clayderman -- Sentimental Memories (2CD)
Richard Clayderman -- Cinema Feelings (2CD)
Richard Clayderman -- Love Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber (HQCD)
Richard Clayderman -- Love Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber (CD)
Classical Piano (2CD)
Let the Love In (CD)
Let the Love In (HQCD)
Christmas Piano (CD)
Christmas With Clayderman (CD)
Our Love (2CD)
Plays Abba (HQCD)
Plays Abba (CD)
Ballade pour Adeline (HQCD)
Ballade pour Adeline (CD)
Plays Carpenters (HQCD)
Plays Carpenters (CD)