Called by Yehudi Menuhin "the exemplary
Violinist of the twenty-first century" , the French
violinist became known around the world
not only for his virtuoso interpretation of the standards of the
repertory, but also for his sensual, completely relaxed, yet in the
same time intense music making which communicates the pure joy of music
Born 1963 from a French family 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 Superieur de Lyon with Veda Reynolds.
then came to America to attend the Curtis Institute, and chose to
settle in California where he held for some years the position of the
concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra.
At a very early time in his career, Apap escaped from the constraints of the international music business looking for his own way beyond the conventions and expectations connected to a commercial career.
In 1985, Apap gained the
affection of Lord Menuhin when
he won the Contemporary Music prize at the prestigious International
Menuhin Competition. This led to a friendly contact until Lord
Just before the death of Apap’s friend and mentor, they worked together on a film upon Mozart’s 3rd violin concerty inspired by Apap’s meanwhile legendary cadenza of the 3rd movement.
The film had then been posthumously completed for ARTE “in memoriam Yehudi Menuhin" and still continues to be regularly broadcasted by European TV stations.
Apap is not only appreciated for the high
intensity of his play as a soloist which
seems to be
sustained by a profond inner certainty, but also sought after as a musical leader, due to his specifique
conception of orchestra work.
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 of most of the philharmonic orchestras of his home country France, he plays as a soloist with well known international orchestras such as the Boston Philh. Orch., the Russian Nat. Philharmonic Orch., the Israel Philh Orch., the Philh. Orch. of the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Philh. Orch. of the Komische Oper Berlin, the Vancouver Symphony Orch., the Dresden, Hamburg, Nürnberg Philharmonics, just to name a few.
He appeared, among many others, at the Lille Mozart Festival, the festival l’Ile de France, the Settembre Musica Torino/Milano, the Deutsche Mozartfestival, Germany's Rheingau Music Festival, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, Int. Ludwigsburger Schloßfestspiele, the Tokio Festival.
With his trio, “Colors of Invention”, built by well known French soloists, Apap is performing spectacular chamber music concerts throughout western and eastern Europe, the U.S., South America, Japan and Russia .
Aside from performing, Apap has taught at the Menuhin Academy Gstaad, the Yehudi Menuhin Forum Bern (Switzerland) and at the Menuhin School, London and holds numerous masterclasses and workshops every year at festivals and academies worldwide.
After having recordeded 3
Classical, Apap built in 1999 his own
record label Apapaziz
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” and "Debussy, Ravel Enescu - sonatas f. violin and piano").
In early 2008, he presented his album “friends”, a homage to ‘fiddl’ music, recorded with some of the stars of the international scene of traditional music.
“sans orchestre” his third chamber music album with ‘The Colors of Invention” was presented on the occasion of an amazing concert at the prestigious Kammermusiksaal of the Berliner Philharmonie.
In November 2012, his last recording “Gypsy Tunes - Apap & The Transylvanian Mountain Boys” has been released by Apapaziz Prod.
A new chamber music album with the “Colors of Invention” is going to be prepared as well as a symphonic recording.