Rafael Payare gained worldwide recognition in May 2012 as the winner of the Malko International Conducting Competition in Copenhagen. Since he began his formal conducting studies in 2004 with José Antonio Abreu, Rafael has developed a flourishing career, having conducted all the major orchestras in Venezuela including the Simón Bolívar Orchestra both in Caracas and in Toronto as part of their 2009 Canadian tour. Maestro Abreu remains Rafael’s principal conducting mentor.
Highlights of 2013-14 include debuts with the City of Birmingham, Cincinnati, Hamburg and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestras; Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the Oslo and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestras. He will also make his Hollywood Bowl debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has been personally invited by Krzysztof Penderecki to conduct part of his 80th Birthday Celebrations in Warsaw.
As an assistant conductor, he has worked under Gustavo Dudamel, most recently for his staged production of Marriage of Figaro with the LA Philharmonic, and served as assistant conductor to Claudio Abbado for his performance of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony with the Simón Bolívar Orchestra. In September 2012, Daniel Barenboim personally invited Rafael to assist for his production of Siegfried at the Berlin Staatsoper.
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