Rafael Payare

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Rafael Payare

In May 2012, Payare was awarded first prize at the Malko International Conducting Competition, and in July 2012, he was personally invited by his mentor, the late Lorin Maazel, to conduct at his Castleton Festival in Virginia. This led to a close association and, in July 2015, he was honoured to accept the position of Principal Conductor of the Castleton Festival. In the summer of 2015, he conducted performances of Gounod 'Romeo and Juliette’ and a performance of Beethoven Symphony No 9 in memory of Lorin Maazel. 

The 2014-15 season saw his acclaimed debut with the Wiener Philharmoniker at the Musikverein, and invitations to the London Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic. This was followed by his debut with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival. In September 2014, he was announced as Chief Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland and their partnership is now recognised as one of the most dynamic in the United Kingdom. Highlights with the UO have included his debut at the BBC Proms in August 2016 and a successful Beethoven and Tchaikovsky cycle with many of the concerts broadcast on BBC Radio 3. 

Notable invitations during the 2015-16 season included the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, NDR Sinfonieochester Hamburg, Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchesterand the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Southbank Centre, plus return visits to the Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.