Rafael Payare and the Malko Competition – three years on

Rafael Payare returns to the Malko Competition in Copenhagen this week, three years after having won the prestigious competition that launched his conducting career. Rafael will conduct the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Brahms’ ‘Academic Overture’, to open the award ceremony.
Since May 2012, Rafael’s career has taken him all over the world in a series of important debuts including with the London Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. In January 2015, he made his acclaimed debut with the Vienna Philharmonic conducting three concerts at the Vienna Musikverein and the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris.
As well as important debuts, Rafael has also taken on two permanent positions – as Chief Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, and as Principal Conductor of the Castleton Festival in Washington DC. 
Rafael said on returning to the competition: “It’s really great to be back and it’s incredible how fast the time has flown! So many fantastic things have happened since I won the competition both personally and artistically. I feel really blessed and it’s really wonderful to be back in Copenhagen and in the competition that changed my life and to be part of the day that, for the new winner, will change their life forever!”
Following on from the Malko Competition, Rafael will travel to Belfast to close the season with the Ulster Orchestra before going to Stockholm where he makes his opera debut with Madame Butterfly at the Royal Swedish Opera. The summer takes Rafael to North America where he will appear at the Ravinia and Aspen festivals, as well as conducting Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet at the Castleton Festival.
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