Rafael Payare is Chief Conductor-designate of the Ulster Orchestra and will take up the position in September 2014.
33 year old Payare is emerging as one of the most exciting conductors of his generation. Since winning the prestigious Malko Conducting Competition in 2012, he has worked with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Gothenburg Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and the Los Angeles and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras. Future plans include debuts with the London Symphony, Munchner Philharmoniker, City of Birmingham Symphony and the Oslo Philharmonic. He will also conduct part of Krzysztof Penderecki’s 80th Birthday celebrations in Warsaw.
Since he began his formal conducting studies in 2004 with José Antonio Abreu, he has 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.
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.