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Rafael Payare is a Venezuelan composer who performed for three nights last week in Philly. Photo: Daniel Knighton / Getty Images
Rafael Payare is a Venezuelan composer who performed for three nights last week in Philly. Photo: Daniel Knighton / Getty Images

Conductor Rafael Payare’s Philadelphia Orchestra debut

The conductor is well-known within the orchestral world, and performed at Verizon Hall for three days last week.

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Rafael Payare had his debut at the Philadelphia Orchestra this past Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021.

Debuting at Verizon Hall, ​​Payare conducted Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 for three nights.

Some other noted musicians active in the performance were soloist Ricardo Morales, English horn player Elizabeth Starr Masoudina, and Clarinet Concerto Jacob Bancks.

Payare’s performance was met with praise from audiences, and the conductor is predicted to return to the orchestra by demand.

Born in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela, Payare began playing and studying the French horn when he was 13-years-old. 

The musician began playing the French horn by mistake after following his brother to a rehearsal which — unbeknownst to him — was really an audition.

The same year, he began studying at Núcleo, and then joined the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Niños de Venezuela. Payare would later graduate from El Sistema, a publicly-financed music education program.

Once at El Sistema, similar to how Payare was once handed a French horn and asked to play, he was handed a baton and told to conduct.

Finding his talents by chance, Payrare has now worked with a number of orchestras, including:

The Rotterdam Philharmonic, National du Capitole de Toulouse, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Monstreal Symphony Orchestra, and Tokyo’s NHK Symphony Orchestra among many others.

Payare also recently joined the Montreal Symphony Orchestra as music director-designate, beginning the role next season. 

His current gig is the music director of the San Diego Symphony.

To learn more about the Philadelphia Orchestra, visit here.

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