BiographyDescribed by the Oslo Philharmonic as ‘one of those conductors you just have to witness’, Rafael Payare , 34, 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, amongst others, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Oslo Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Cincinnati Symphony and the Los Angeles and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras.
Having made his sensational UK debut with the Ulster Orchestra in October 2013, he was immediately offered the position of Chief Conductor; a post he will take up from the 2014-15 season for an initial period of three years. Other highlights of 14-15 include debuts with the London Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Tonkünstlerorchester, New Japan Philharmonic & the Danish National Symphony. He will also make his opera debut at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm conducting 'Madame Butterfly'.
In November 2013, the celebrated Polish composer, Krzysztof Penderecki, invited Rafael to conduct part of his 80th birthday concerts in Warsaw, alongside such conductors as Valery Gergiev, Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin and Jiří Bělohlávek. He also made his much acclaimed debut in March 2013 at the Warsaw Beethoven Festival and, in July 2012, he was personally invited by Lorin Maazel to conduct at his Castleton Festival in Washington DC.
A graduate of the celebrated El Sistema in Venezuela, Payare began his formal conducting studies in 2004 with José Antonio Abreu and 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. Having also served as Principal Horn of the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, he took part in many prestigious tours and recordings with conductors including Giusseppe Sinopoli, Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle and Lorin Maazel.
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 the late Claudio Abbado for his performance of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony with the Simón Bolívar Orchestra. In September 2012, Daniel Barenboim personally invited him to assist for his production of Siegfried at the Berlin Staatsoper.
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