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.
“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.”
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!