André Raphel André Raphel

BIOGRAPHY

 

André Raphel
Conductor

A dynamic and versatile conductor hailed for his profound musical performances, André Raphel is renowned for his technical brilliance. An adventurous programmer, he has also developed a reputation as a skilled communicator. Raphel has led critically acclaimed festivals, world premieres and commissioned works by Richard Danielpour, Jennifer Higdon, Kenneth Fuchs, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Uri Caine and Hannibal Lokumbe.

Named Conductor Laureate of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra beginning with the 2018/19 season, he led the orchestra as Music Director for 15 years. Other key positions have included, Assistant Conductor to Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic for two years. He was Assistant Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra for six years. Raphel served for three years as Assistant Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony.

Raphel enjoys an active career as guest conductor. He has appeared with most of the major American orchestras including Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. In summer 2018, he returned to the Mann Center to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra. During the 2018/19 season, he returns to the Detroit Symphony to conduct the orchestra's Classical Roots program and to the San Antonio Symphony for performances of Star Wars: A New Hope film in concert. Raphel has led Germany's Bamberg Symphony in two recordings for Bavarian Broadcasting. He made his Los Angeles debut conducting at the gala opening of The Broad museum, and recently made his Buffalo Philharmonic debut.  

André Raphel made his European debut with the Neubrandenburger Philharmonie and has also led the Moravska Philharmonie. In the United States he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, Milwaukee, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, Seattle, the National Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra among others. He made his Carnegie Hall debut leading Robert Shaw and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in a concert celebrating the centennial of legendary mezzo-soprano Marian Anderson. Raphel’s international engagements have further included appearances with the Auckland Philharmonia, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Columbia and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Costa Rica.

A guest conductor at major music festivals, Raphel has led programs at the Blossom Music Festival and Tanglewood Music Center. He has also appeared at the Mann Center, Grant Park Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Brevard Music Festival, and the Campos do Jordao Festival in Brazil.

Raphel has a strong commitment to education and community engagement. In 2010, he launched a highly successful College Series with the Wheeling Symphony. During his tenure with the Saint Louis Symphony, he was Music Director of the orchestra's "In Unison" program, a partnership between the orchestra and local churches. His commitment to education is reflected in his work at leading conservatories and training programs. He has led the Juilliard Orchestra, New World Symphony, Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute and Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.

Born André Raphel Smith in Durham, North Carolina he began formal music lessons at age 11. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Miami, and pursued further study at Yale University where he earned his Master’s Degree. While at Yale, he began conducting studies with Otto-Werner Mueller. He continued studies with Mueller at The Curtis Institute of Music earning a Diploma in conducting and at the Juilliard School, where he was awarded the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship and received an Advanced Certificate in orchestral conducting.

Raphel is the recipient of numerous honors and awards which attest to his artistry. In 2012, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Miami. The Philadelphia Orchestra issued a special commemorative CD featuring William Grant Still’s Symphony No.1 with Maestro Raphel conducting. He received the Distinguished Service Award from Yale University. Raphel is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from West Liberty University. He has received Honorary Commendations from the cities of Philadelphia and Saint Louis. The North Carolina Senate awarded Raphel the “Order of the Long Leaf Pine.” The award, presented annually is the state’s highest honor for a civilian.

Last updated September 2018. This biography should not be altered without prior consent.