André Raphel André Raphel

"The music's rhythm had an irresistible momentum."

The Washington Post



Copland 3 at Brevard Music Center

André Raphel returns to the Brevard Music Festival to conduct a program rooted in the American spirit. Located in the scenic mountains of North Carolina, Brevard is one of America's most imporant music festivals.

The July 20th program features the "Great American Symphony," Copland's Third Symphony. William Hagen, violin plays Dvorak.

Jessie Montgomery: Hymn for Everyone
Dvorak: Violin Concerto in a minor
William Hagen, violin
Copland: Symphony No. 3



Berlin Debut 2024-25 Season

In news just announced, André Raphel will make his Berlin debut with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin during the 2024/2025 Season. The concert on June 15, 2025 will take place at the historic Philharmonie Berlin.

The program features the European premiere of Uri Caine's Passion of Octavius Catto. Also featured, the music of Mendelssohn and 2024 Grammy Award winner Jessie Montgomery.

Jessie Montgomery: Hymn for Everyone
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 (Reformation)
Uri Caine: The Passion of Octavius Catto (European Premiere)



Ten Memorable Classical Music Moments from 2023

The Boston Globe named the performances of Uri Caine's Passion of Octavius Catto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, André Raphel conducting, one of "10 Memorable Classical Music Moments from 2023." The Year in Arts article focused on music as a gateway to the past for Raphel's collaboration with the BSO, and the emotional impact of Caine's work.

Read the article at the link: TheYearInArts




From Home to Rome

On January 19, 2024, André Raphel conducts the Delaware Symphony Orchestra in "From Home to Rome." This exciting program features Barber's First Symphony and Respighi's thrilling Pines of Rome!

Barber who was born in nearby West Chester, PA, creates a powerful work in this rarely performed one movement symphony. The concert at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington also features Jennifer Frautschi, playing Beethoven's monumental Violin Concerto. This concert is SOLD OUT!

Verdi: La Forza del Destino Overture
Beethoven: Violin Concerto
Jennifer Frautschi, violin
Barber: First Symphony, in one movement
Respighi: Pini di Roma


This is Minnesota Orchestra

André Raphel conducted the Minnesota Orchestra in its first-ever presentation of a Juneteenth program. Hear and see the concert at the link: This is Minnesota Orchestra

The June 2023 program featured a newly commissioned poem by actor and poet, Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Warner performed a moving reading of the poem. Also included at the link inspiring performances by Justice Alan C. Page, narrating Copland's Lincoln Portrait and Jevetta Steele, vocalist.

The concert features works by Hailstork, James P. Johnson and William Grant Still.



Debut with the BSO

André Raphel made a successful subscription series debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The program opened the Voices of Loss, Reckoning, and Hope Festival. The 2023 Festival explored complex social issues. The concert program at Symphony Hall in Boston focused on black culture.

André conducted the BSO in its first performances of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Petite Suite de Concert, and William Grant Still's Afro-American Symphony as pictured below. The featured work on the second half was Uri Caine's powerful oratorio The Passion of Octavius Catto.



The Planets in NY

André Raphel returns to the Hudson Valley Philharmonic (NY) to conduct the orchestra's season finale program. The May 20, 2023 program features Gustav Holst's The Planets! The Holst will be performed with a new world premiere film including outer space imagery assembled by astronomer and filmaker José Francisco Salgado. The program opens with Dvorak's exciting Carnival Overture.

Dvorak: Karneval Overture, op. 92
Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme
Leland Ko, cello
Holst: The Planets
with Capella Festiva Women's Choir





"Lords of the Ring" Howard Shore & Wagner- Side by Side

Howard Shore's THE LORD OF THE RINGS film music and Wagner's Ring Cycle excerpts make up an exciting season finale program for the Mobile Symphony Orchestra. André Raphel returns to Mobile on May 6th and 7th to conduct this epic program.

Featured will be faves such as Concerning Hobbits, In Dreams, Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries, Wotan's Farewell and Magic Fire Music, Siegfried's Rhine Journey and much more. Don't miss these concerts with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra!

Buzzards Bay MusicFest


On July 17, 2022 André Raphel leads "Mozart & George Walker @100" for the closing concert of the Buzzards Bay MusicFest. The matinee concert program features Mozart's Symphony No. 41 and George Walker's Lyric for Strings.

The All-Orchestral July 13 program explores works by Jessie Montgomery, Schubert and Beethoven.


Mozart Overture to Così fan tutte
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major
David Allen Wehr, piano
George Walker Lyric for Strings
Mozart Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter"

July 13, 2022
André Raphel, conductor

Jessie Montgomery Starburst
Fauré Pavane
Schubert Symphony No. 5 in Bb Major
Beethoven Symphony No. 8


Sunflower Music Festival- June 2022

Concerts at the Sunflower Music Festival highlight André Raphel as the featured conductor. The June concert series is titled, "The Sunflower Music Festival and the African American Experience 2022." This year's Festival will recognize new voices as well as honor traditional black composers. The 2022 summer Festival is a collaboration with the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site.

Topeka is the home of the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954 declaring segregation in public schools unconstitutional. Featured will be works by Jessie Montgomery, George Walker, Adolphus Hailstork, James Kimo Williams & more!

June 17, 2022
Opening Celebration- Mozart & George Walker's 100th

Mozart: Overture to Così fan tutte
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major
David Allen Wehr, piano
George Walker: Lyric for Strings (100th Anniversary of composer's birth- June 2022)
Mozart: Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter"

June 22, 2022
Spirituals, New Voices and the African American Experience

Adolphus Hailstork: Three Spirituals for Orchestra
George Walker: Antifonys
Herbert Howells: Elegy for Viola, String Quartet and String Orchestra
Basil Vandryes, viola
Jessie Montgomery: Starburst
William Grant Still: Symphony No. 1, "Afro-American"

June 25, 2022
Black Influence and the New World

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Danse Négre
Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Violin Concerto in C Major, Op. 3, No. 2
Meredith Riley, violin
James Kimo Williams: Symphony for the Sons of Nam
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, "New World"


Uri Caine's Passion- BBC Music Magazine Review

Reviews for the recording of Uri Caine's Passion of Octavius Catto praise Raphel's work. The BBC Music Magazine writes, "Held together with admirably crisp direction from conductor André Raphel, this is a soul-stirring recording of a bold and timely work." Four Stars!

A great review also from The Arts Fuse magazine in Boston. Read the full review at the link:





Inspired Voices and the Human Spirit

"Inspired Voices and the Human Spirit" is the thematic focus of a program with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra in March. Orli Shaham, piano will be soloist.

The March 10, 2022 concert features Jennifer Higdon's gorgeous work blue cathedral, which imagines a journey through a glass cathedral in the sky. Also on the program Shostakovich's powerful Symphony No. 5. With the symphony's internal struggle and Shostakovich's keen sense of irony, it makes for an incredible statement about the composer's strength in the face of adversity.

Jennifer Higdon: blue cathedral
Schumann: Piano Concerto in a minor
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5


January Notes

It has been a long time since I've written here, but given these most challenging times it seemed a good idea to share a few thoughts. These times are of course like no other. The pandemic has affected us all in ways large and small. The holiday season fortunately provided a bit of needed distraction.

As a conductor, this season of pandemic has helped me to re-discover the power of music to unite people. Each rehearsal and concert means more. When we come together to make music, the moments together seem all the more poignant. As 2022 begins, there are promising highlights on the calendar. The fall was understandably filled with lots of Beethoven and Mozart- two composers whose music I treasure. I'm particularly looking forward to a program in March which will feature Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5, a work which is about overcoming a series of struggles that rage within the soul. It seems apt to once again explore this inspiring music, given the times in which we live.

We will get through this and continue to overcome. Stay safe. Wishing you all the best for a great year in 2022! AR


Album- The Passion of Octavius Catto

Listen to the album of Uri Caine's work The Passion of Octavius Catto. André Raphel teamed up with the jazz pianist and composer Uri Caine for the recording of this powerful work. The work focuses on Catto, an important figure in American History who lived during the 1800's. Catto was an orator, civil and voting rights activist, educator and a baseball player in the early Negro League. Combining classical, jazz, gospel, pop and patriotic styles, the work tells the story of Catto's life.

The recording on the 816 Music label features Barbara Walker, vocalist, Uri Caine Trio, Nedra Neal Singers, Philadelphia Choral Ensemble and the Catto Freedom Orchestra with André Raphel conducting. Hear it on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and CD Baby!

Pictured below following the recording sessions: André, Barbara Walker, vocalist, Uri Caine, composer and pianist, and Joyce Hammann, Concertmaster.


André Raphel with Barbara Walker, Uri Caine and Joyce



Raphel Named Conductor Laureate

In the news, André Raphel has been named Conductor Laureate of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. The appointment beginning with the 18/19 season recognizes Raphel's distinguished fifteen year tenure as Music Director.

Read more about the announcement at the link in this article from Broadway World conductorlaureate


A debut in Buffalo

André Raphel appeared with the Buffalo Philharmonic making his debut in concerts on December 2 and 3, 2017. Critical acclaim followed for the performances.

The Buffalo News wrote: "He and the orchestra treated that Ravel with panache and technical precision. The dance rhythms sparkled and every note was right where it should be." Here's a link to the complete review:

Review from Bachtrack for French Festival program

André led a French Festival program with the Wheeling Symphony 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:


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