André Raphel André Raphel

"His conducting is clear and precise, exact and energetic, his ideas are well formed."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch



Celebrate America!

André Raphel leads the Wheeling Symphony in the annual Celebrate America Tour. The program features vocalist Hugh Panaro singing Broadway favorites by George M. Cohan, Andrew Lloyd Webber and more. André conducts Patriotic favorites and American music. Included on the program are: Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, Williams' Star Wars, Gould's American Salute and Sousa marches. Dates and cities for the tour are:

July 1- Weirton, WV
July 2- Canaan Valley, WV
July 3- Clarksburg, WV
July 4- Wheeling, WV


Season Finale Featuring Works by R. Strauss and Mahler

André Raphel conducts an exciting season finale concert with the Wheeling Symphony on May 12 featuring works by Richard Strauss, Barber and Mahler. The program highlights the influence of song and environment on composers.

Featured on the program will be Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. Eleanor Steber who was from Wheeling gave the world premiere of Barber's work and commissioned it. The soloist for this concert will be the young soprano, Julia Bullock. The program closes with Mahler's exciting Symphony No. 1. With its large orchestral forces, emphasis on nature sounds and connections to Mahler songs it will bring the season to a rousing close.

R. Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel's Lustige Streiche
Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 (Titan)


On Tour: Beethoven Lives Upstairs

The Wheeling Symphony presents its annual Young People's Concert Tour May 1-3. This year's program features the return of the immensely popular Beethoven Lives Upstairs with Classical Kids Live.

Dates and cities for the tour are:

May 1: Washington, PA
May 2: Rayland, OH
May 3: Wheeling, WV


2017-18 Season debut with BPO

In news recently announced, André Raphel will appear with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra during the 2017-18 Season. The concerts mark his debut with the BPO and the debut of French violinist, Arnaud Sussman.

The program features works by Mendelssohn and Mozart. Read more at the link:


Inspired by Dance

The March 10th program of the Wheeling Symphony features works "Inspired by Dance." The program inlcudes Stravinsky's rarely performed Scherzo a la Russe in the orchestral version and Ravel's La Valse.

Christopher O'Riley, piano returns to play Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 on this thrilling program.

Stravinsky: Scherzo a la Russe
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2
Ravel: La Valse
Ravel: Bolero


San Antonio Symphony at The Tobin Center

André Raphel leads the San Antonio Symphony in a program celebrating the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. The January 15, 2017 concert features inspirational anthems, spirituals as well as uplifting works from the standard repertoire.

This community concert takes place at The Tobin Center and also features the MLK Mass Choir; Jerome Roberson, director.

Johnson/arr. Smith: Lift Every Voice and Sing
Coleridge-Taylor: Danse Négre
Hailstork: Everytime I Feel the Spirit from Three Spirtituals for Orchestra
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, 2nd movement
"Jesus Is My Rock"
"Psalm 117"
"More Abundantly"
Coleridge-Taylor: La Caprice de Nannette
Sowande: Joyful Day
Ellington/arr. Gould: Solitude
Hailstork: Oh Freedom
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, 3rd and 4th movements


2017 New Year Greetings

Happy New Year! As the new year begins, it's a good time to reflect on the first half of the season. The season began with a splendid Opening Night Concert by the Wheeling Symphony. The orchestra was in mid-season form playing brilliantly in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5. It was my first collaboration with the wonderful cellist Julie Albers, who played Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with a great sense of style.

Conducting John Williams' music is always a treat and the evening devoted entirely to his film music offered some forgotten gems. The Cowboys Overture is a personal favorite as an old western film score and Adventures on Earth from E.T. is both exciting and bold in thematic gestures. A major highlight of Fall was conducting Jennifer Higdon's Percussion Concerto. It's a piece I've wanted to program for quite some time. The audience loved the piece and collaborating with Svet Stoyanov on the work was great fun!

Next I'm looking forward to working with the San Antonio Symphony and exploring works by Hailstork and Ellington. The music of Coleridge-Taylor is a joy to perform and its folk spirit reminds me of Dvorak, whose music will also be featured. Ahead this year will be programs featuring the works of Stravinsky and Ravel, Mahler's Symphony No. 1, tours and recording projects. It promises to be exciting. Hope to see you at a concert this year!


Inspired by America: Copland and Dvorak

On November 10th, André Raphel conducts the Wheeling Symphony in a program based on the American experience. Inspired by America, its folk music and cultural traditions the program features works by Copland and Dvorak.

Also not to be missed, Jennifer Higdon's thrilling Percussion Concerto with Svet Stoyanov, percussion.

Copland: Appalachian Spring
Higdon: Percussion Concerto
Svet Stoyanov, percussion
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 (From the New World)


Film Music of John Williams

The music of legendary film composer John Williams highlights the Wheeling Symphony's October 20th concert. For this concert entitled Star Wars & More, André Raphel conducts memorable music from the movies Jaws, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Harry Potter.

Williams: The Cowboys Overture
Williams: The Shark Theme from Jaws
Williams: Excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Williams: Superman March
Williams: Theme from Schindler's List
Rachel Stegeman, violin
Williams: Adventures on Earth from ET
Williams: Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark
Williams/arr. Custer: Highlights from Jurrasic Park
Williams/arr. Brubaker: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Symphonic Suite
Williams: Star Wars
The Imperial March
Yoda's Theme
Throne Room and Finale


2016-17 Season Opening Night

The Wheeling Symphony opens the 2016-17 Season on September 22nd. Julie Albers, cello makes her debut with the orchestra.

The Opening Night program features Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5.

Rossini: La Gazza Ladra Overture
Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

Review from Bachtrack for French Festival program

André led a French Festival concert in May which included works by Chabrier, Fauré and Berlioz. Also featured Kenneth Fuchs' new Piano Concerto "Spiritualist".

Of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, the Bachtrack review noted "the music was terrifically exciting even as Raphel exerted perfect control over the proceedings." Read the complete review at the following link:


May Notes

It has been quite some time since I've written here! This spring has been particularly full with music and great collaborations. The College Series closed with a stellar performance by the group Tf3. What fun it was working with this group again which includes Nikki Chooi, violin, Nicolas (Nick) Kendall, violin and Ranaan Meyer, double-bass.

The Young People's Concert Tour was also a great ride. Magic Circle Mime Company was featured in a program entitled "The Listener." It was remarkable that it focuses on an area so missing in today's world and particularly music by Britten and Shostakovich made it memorable. There was also a program I led with the Westmoreland Symphony in March that included Beethoven's Symphony No. 8. Always nice to re-visit this underplayed work.

A big project during the last few months has been updating the website. New photos on the Home page with a neat slider that changes the photos. Now the site is also fully responsive for mobile devices. A terrific job by my graphic designer Peter Ameijide of 360 Design Studios.

Thanks for the support and stay tuned for information about concerts this summer. AR


Tf3 Returns!

On April 22nd, André collaborates with the stellar group Time for Three! This concert with the Wheeling Symphony will close the College Series. This marks Tf3's return for their 4th appearance with the orchestra.

The Wheeling Symphony co-commissioned Jennifer Higdon's Concerto 4-3, written for Tf3 in their last appearance. The April 22nd Pops concert features selections such as: American Wake, Rainbow Medley, Libertango, Bach "Double Concerto"/Sing, Sing, Sing mash-up and more.


NBC10 @ Issue in Philadelphia with Tracy Davidson

Catch a conversation with Tracy Davidson on NBC10 @Issue from Philadelphia on December 20th at 11:30 am. Tracy and André talk about classical music and how to keep it vibrant.


André featured on commemorative CD with The Philadelphia Orchestra
Honoring the Dream
William Grant Still (1895-1978)
from Symphony No. 1 ("Afro-American):

I. Moderato assai
IV. Lento, con risoluzione

André Raphel Conductor


View a PDF of Festivals & World Premieres featuring André Raphel