violinist; b. 15th January 1978 in Lodz. He studied with Wen Zhou Li at the Yehudi Menuhin School and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and subsequently in Vienna with Gerhard Schulz where he was also a scholar at the Herbert von Karajan Centre. His studies have been generously funded by various organisations including Ashurst Morris Crisp. He is the winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in 1996.
Rafal has performed with many of the major UK orchestras (English Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic) at venues including the South Bank, Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Bridgewater Hall, Cadogan Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham. He worked on several occasions with Lord Menuhin as conductor. He has performed throughout Europe as well as in the Middle East, Far East, USA, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
He performed Khatchaturian’s Violin Concerto for the composer’s centenary celebrations with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2004 gave the British premiere of Alexander Arutunian’s Violin Concerto as well as performing the work at the composer’s 75th Birthday Concert. Recent engagements have included performances with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Armenian Chamber Orchestra, Danubia Symphony in Budapest, KZN Philharmonic in Durban, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, Munich and Zurich Chamber Orchestras.
In 2004 Rafal became solo violinist and leader of the international Frankfurt-based contemporary music group Ensemble Modern, as part of which he regularly performs in many of the world’s top venues and festivals. He has performed on numerous occasions as a soloist with the Ensemble Modern (Salzburg Festival - Ferneyhough’s Terrain, Schwetzingen SWR Festival and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt - Berg’s Chamber Concerto) and regurarly works with many of today’s leading composers - George Benjamin, Oliver Knussen, Mark- Anthony Turnage, Wolfgang Rihm to name just a few.
An avid chamber musician, Rafal is a founding member of DIMENSION Piano Trio, winners of the 2005 Parkhouse Award. The trio has given acclaimed performances at the South Bank, St. John’s Smiths Square and the Wigmore Hall and performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Orquesta Odissea in Madrid and the Lutoslawski Philharmonic in Wroclaw (Poland).
Festival performances have included the BBC Proms, Berliner Maerz Musik, Festival d’Autumne a Paris, Huddersfield, Luzern, Monte Carlo, Davos, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Euro Musica Vitae, Bastad, Banff, Domaine Forget, Paxos, Yerevan, Kastav, Warsaw Beethoven Easter Festival and Chanterelle in Poland. Recent chamber music collaborations have included performances with atists such as David Pyatt, Michael Collins, Heinz Holliger, Julian Rachlin, Radovan Vlatkovic and members of the Alban Berg, Belcea and Szymanowski String Quartets.
Rafal has had performances broadcast on many radio stations throughout Europe, Asia and Australia.
Rafal’s first commercial recording was released on the EMI Debut Series featuring works by Szymanowski, Britten and Grieg together with pianist Carole Presland.
Rafal plays on a violin made by J.B.Villaume in 1844.