Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare’s profound musicianship, technical brilliance and charismatic presence on the podium has elevated him as one of the most sought after young conductors, working regularly with the world’s leading orchestras.
Highlights of the 2017/2018 season will include return visits to the Vienna Philharmonic for concerts at the Vienna Konzerthaus and on tour with Elīna Garanča, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Czech Philharmonic and the Orchestre de le Suisse Romande, plus debuts with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Minnesota Orchestra and his Berlin subscription debut with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.
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, 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.
Born in 1980 and a graduate of the celebrated El Sistema in Venezuela, Payare began his formal conducting studies in 2004 with José Antonio Abreu. He has conducted all the major orchestras in Venezuela, including the Simón Bolívar Orchestra. Having also served as Principal Horn of the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, he took part in many prestigious tours and recordings with conductors including Giuseppe Sinopoli, Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle and Lorin Maazel.