Christian Ferras

French violinist (1933, Le Touquet – 1982, Paris)

Gone too soon, Christian Ferras, seen as a gifted child, is still today a subject of fascination. Over the years and with all the encounters he had, he endlessly widened his repertoire since the beginning of his soloist career at the age of thirteen.

Christian Ferras started to learn violin when he was seven with his father Robert Ferras, a previous student of Marcel Chailley. It was a true revelation for the young boy. A year later, he was admitted to the Nice Conservatoire, in the same class as Charles Bistesi, and performed on stage for the first time as a soloist with an orchestra in 1942. In 1945 his family settled in Paris: Christian Ferras joined the Paris Conservatoire and continued his training under René Benedetti (violin) and Joseph Calvet (chamber music). He won the first violin prize with his interpretation of Brahms Violin Concerto when he was only thirteen. 

From that moment, tours and competitions came one after the other. At the age of 26, Christian Ferras was already travelling all over the world. He performed as a soloist directed by great conductors like Karajan, Maazel, Münch. He also went on stage as part of a trio with Pablo Casals and William Kempff or forming a duet with the pianist Pierre Barbizet. Inclined on getting nervous, he was forced to put an end to his soloist career and turned to education. Incidentally he became a teacher at the Paris Conservatoire. Seven years later, in 1982, he tried to go back on stage but was quickly caught back by depression and took his own life on the 14th of September 1982, throwing himself by the window of his Parisian apartment.

Six landmark dates in the life of Christian Ferras

1948: was allowed to participate to the Scheveningen competition despite his young age and got the first prize. 

1954: acquired his first Stradivarius, le Président (1721).

1960: recorded the complete Sonatas for violin and piano by Beethoven and was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque for those recordings.

1963: played in front of the pope John XXIII at the Vatican.

1965: created the Sonate pour violon seul by Serge Nigg in New York.

1967: was widely acclaimed after his interpretation of the Violin Concerto in E major of J.S. Bach at the first Salzburg Easter Festival; in company of the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Karajan 

Radio France documentation biography, December 2015.