André Raphel André Raphel

BIOGRAPHY

 

André Raphel
Conductor

A dynamic 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 an orchestra builder. André Raphel has been Music Director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra since 2003. He has led the Orchestra in critically acclaimed festivals, world premieres and commissioned works raising the prestige of the ensemble. During the 2017/18 season he leads the Orchestra in numerous concerts including a highly anticipated East Meets West Festival featuring the music of Tan Dun and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Raphel enjoys a busy career as guest conductor. During the 2017/18 season, he makes his Buffalo Philharmonic debut and appears with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra. In recent seasons he has appeared with the San Antonio Symphony, Toledo Symphony and made his Los Angeles debut conducting at the gala opening of The Broad Museum. He returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra to conduct the world premiere of Uri Caine's Passion of Octavius Catto and has led the Bamberg Symphony in two recordings for Bayerischer Rundfunk. Raphel has appeared with most of the major American orchestras including New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra.  

André Raphel made his European debut with the Neubrandenburger Philharmonie and has also led the Moravska Philharmonie. In the U.S. he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, 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.

André Raphel served as an Assistant Conductor to Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic for two years. He was Assistant Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra for six years. Prior to his appointment in Philadelphia, Raphel served for three years as Assistant Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony where he worked with Leonard Slatkin.

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 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.

This biography should not be altered without prior consent. Last updated September 2017.