QUEER VOICES
10/13/2016 10:32 am ET Updated Oct 13, 2016

For This Famed Pianist, Life On The Road Is Stylish, Sexy And Sweet

Simon Ghraichy will salute his diverse heritage at New York's Carnegie Hall.

For world-renowned pianist Simon Ghraichy, a concert in New York represents more than just a performance, it gives him a unique opportunity to connect with the diverse aspects of his “melting pot” background. 

The 31-year-old musician, who was raised by a Lebanese father and a Mexican mother and now resides in Paris, returns to Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall Oct. 14 a year after his debut engagement for “My Hispanic Heritage.” As his show’s title suggests, the evening is a celebration of Latin American and Spanish composers like Arturo Márquez and Manuel de Falla, as well as those like Claude Debussy who drew inspiration from Hispanic culture, in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which ends Oct. 15. 

<strong>"Good morning from Paris I am getting ready for my big day Today I sign my exclusive recording contract and I have a
Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
"Good morning from Paris I am getting ready for my big day Today I sign my exclusive recording contract and I have a big concert tonight My hair is my beauty capital No1 So a visit to my hairdresser is a must He knows me by heart and always has a glass of Sauvignon Blanc ready for me upon my arrival as well as my initials SG on my wrap."

“Reflecting [my Hispanic background] in music is quite unusual, because these composers are lesser known,” Ghraichy told The Huffington Post. The fact that “My Hispanic Heritage” hits Carnegie one year after his debut engagement isn’t lost on the pianist, who says he feels “extremely blessed” to return to the famed venue. “My first time in Carnegie was very special, and I remember being extremely excited and, at the same time, so stressed that I [thought that I] would lose half my life expectancy. This year is different and I’m much more confident.” 

<strong>"OK -- the hair is ready, the curls are beautiful. With my&nbsp;<i>coif</i> now set and ready, I'm signing my contrac
Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
"OK -- the hair is ready, the curls are beautiful. With my coif now set and ready, I'm signing my contract with Universal Music/Deutsche Grammophon. Every musician's dream is to record albums for this prestigious "yellow" label. Today, my dream came true!"

Ghraichy, who is openly gay, also sees the show as a chance to break away from the “classical music intelligentsia” audiences who attend his shows in other cities and, instead, “share the music with a beautifully diverse audience: Jewish, black, Asian, European, Latino, gay and so many other things.” 

As Ghraichy geared up for his Carnegie Hall show, HuffPost Queer Voices asked him to share a behind-the-scenes look at his life on the road. Take a look at what he shared below! 

  • After I've put my autograph on that contract, here we are celebrating my signature with the staff at Universal Music. It feel
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    After I've put my autograph on that contract, here we are celebrating my signature with the staff at Universal Music. It feels so good to be surrounded by professionals from the most prestigious music industry. And yet, they're all young and bright and sexy! #luckyme
  • OK. The stress is starting to rise up high! My concert is starting in exactly 30 minutes and my heart has already doubled its
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    OK. The stress is starting to rise up high! My concert is starting in exactly 30 minutes and my heart has already doubled its beating speed. Will I play? Will I not?
  • In the (un)dressing room. Still shaping up for the night and trembling of excitement.
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    In the (un)dressing room. Still shaping up for the night and trembling of excitement.
  • Holy cow! It's sold out! They all came here to discover Deutsche Grammophon's new signature. Oh la la!
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    Holy cow! It's sold out! They all came here to discover Deutsche Grammophon's new signature. Oh la la!
  • Let's run to the stage. There's no way I could escape that.
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    Let's run to the stage. There's no way I could escape that.
  • The musician by the highlights. An electric ambiance for the electric repertoire I was playing. Liszt, Schubert but also MANY
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    The musician by the highlights. An electric ambiance for the electric repertoire I was playing. Liszt, Schubert but also MANY Hispanic discoveries: Marquez, Lecuona, Guarnieri, hot composers from hot places on earth: Latin America. It's a guaranteed success. And it was!
  • A night out with the girls: it happens that it's also my birthday! So let's go and celebrate it with the girls... We wanted t
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    A night out with the girls: it happens that it's also my birthday! So let's go and celebrate it with the girls... We wanted to play it so "low-profile" in order to escape paparazzi. Yet we failed! These girls, despite their colorful wigs, are world's best opera singers too -- Deutsche Grammophon fellas, too -- and founders of an eccentric ensemble called D.I.V.A. 
  • No way! Even Hillary showed up for my birthday! Apparently she wanted to send me an email to wish my a happy birthday but it
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    No way! Even Hillary showed up for my birthday! Apparently she wanted to send me an email to wish my a happy birthday but it was mysteriously deleted! She decided to come in person. I love her!
  • Finally some one-to-one moment with my BFF. It's been a while and it's time for us to catch up away from the crowds.
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    Finally some one-to-one moment with my BFF. It's been a while and it's time for us to catch up away from the crowds.
  • Let's go for a walk by the river in Paris! That's what most Parisians do during the weekends and to recover from heavily pack
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    Let's go for a walk by the river in Paris! That's what most Parisians do during the weekends and to recover from heavily packed weekend nights. Oh wait, there's a piano there! They knew Simon Ghraichy was going to come by. So let's play these crowds an open-air serenade!
  • I love my astronaut shoes! They're so convenient for casual pedaling.
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    I love my astronaut shoes! They're so convenient for casual pedaling.
  • It's been such a tough weekend! It's not time for getting some rest and preparing leek soup. I love cooking and unfortunately
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    It's been such a tough weekend! It's not time for getting some rest and preparing leek soup. I love cooking and unfortunately I don't have the opportunity to do it every day. So I try to eat healthy as much as I could.
  • Finally in the airplane heading back to New York. I feel DEAD, and I have to recover ASAP. I somehow have to play a Carnegie
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    Finally in the airplane heading back to New York. I feel DEAD, and I have to recover ASAP. I somehow have to play a Carnegie Hall recital in a few days! 
  • Back in Manhattan and enjoying a morning coffee with this extraordinary view of the Empire State Building. I'm in love with N
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    Back in Manhattan and enjoying a morning coffee with this extraordinary view of the Empire State Building. I'm in love with New York!
  • Wondering on the streets of Manhattan, I fell into my Carnegie Poster, a sort of a sandwich between Sir Simon Rattle and Anne
    Courtesy of Simon Ghraichy
    Wondering on the streets of Manhattan, I fell into my Carnegie Poster, a sort of a sandwich between Sir Simon Rattle and Anne-Sophie von Otter! Oh my God! Could it be any better? I feel so lucky and I'm so looking forward to it. Oct. 14, Carnegie Hall, here I come!
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