Rafael Aguirre

Rafael Aguirre is an internationally acclaimed musician whose deep understanding of music, dazzling virtuosity and immensely diverse repertoire has taken him to 37 countries. The beginning of his extraordinary career was marked by winning thirteen first prizes at international competitions (including the Tarrega Competition and Pro Musicis, New York). He is currently one of the most celebrated guitarists worldwide.

Rafael performs regularly in prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Vienna Konzerthaus, Moscow Tchaikovsky Hall, Philharmonie am Gasteig in Munich, Hamburg Laeiszhalle and Elbphilharmonie, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, King's Place London, Saint Petersburg Philharmonia, Cuba’s National Theatre, the Hyogo Performing Arts Center (Japan) and the Seoul Arts Center (South Korea).

His debut at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the Verbier Chamber Orchestra was broadcast by medici.tv, and is the most viewed video on their Facebook page, which gained over 3 million views in just twelve months.

Highlights of the 21/22 season include his orchestral debuts in USA with the Billings Symphony in Montana and Symphony of the Americas in Florida, as well as concerts with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and the Orquesta Nacional de España. Other recent highlights were the premiere of a "Fantasia" for 4 guitars by Joaquín Clerch in Belgrade as well as concerts at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Auditorio Nacional and Teatro Real in Madrid and concerts with the Liège Philharmonic and rising star soprano soprano Hera Hyesang Park.

An extensive repertoire, with more than 30 concertos for guitar and orchestra has allowed him to perform with the KBS Symphony Orchestra in Korea, the Orchestre National de Lyon, Toulon Opera Symphony, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, Thüringen Philharmonic, Pforzheim Chamber Orchestra, New Westfalia Philharmonic, Robert Schumann Philharmonie Chemnitz, Moscow New Russia, RTVE Symphony, Malaga Philharmonic, Cámera Musicae Symphony, Extremadura Orchestra, and the Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra, among others, under conductors such as Jesús López Cobos, Lorenzo Viotti, Karina Canellakis, Domingo Hindoyán, Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez, Yoel Levi, Pavel Baleff, Guillermo García Calvo, Sebastian Tewinkel, Clemens Schuldt and Alexandre Myrat.

Following in the classical tradition of Andrés Segovia and Narciso Yepes, Rafael Aguirre additionally seeks to expand and innovate in the repertoire of his instrument, incorporating music from different styles, such as flamenco, chamber music, pop, film music, or Spanish and Latinamerincan folk music. His collaborations with contemporary composers have given him the opportunity to premier works by Sergio Assad (Grammy Award winner), Joaquín Clerch, Agustín Castilla Avila, David del Puerto and Daniel Real, among others.

His first recital album was published by RTVE Música, followed by two others released by Naxos. With the German label KSGExaudio, he released “Transcriptions” with music by Bach, Scarlatti, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Debussy, Ravel and Gershwin transcribed for guitar from original piano music. His collaboration with cellist Nadège Rochat resulted in the release of “La Vida Breve” by the label Ars Produktion. Two other projects presented him with an exciting repertoire of Brazilian music (with Anette Maiburg’s ensemble for the label MDG) and Portuguese fado (with singer Filipa Tavares). His eighth project has been released by Naxos in 2018 with the First World Recording of Lorenzo Palomo’s “Fulgores” with Castilla y León Symphony, violinist Ana Valderrama and Maestro Jesús López Cobos.

As a result of these recordings, he has been pre-nominated for a Latin Grammy and has received enthusiastic reviews by Gramophone, The Strad and Crescendo Magazine, also appearing on broadcasts by international radios such as the BBC, NPR, CBS, Radio Stephansdom de Viena, Radio Berlin Brandenburg, HR Hessische Rundfunk, Bayerische Rundfunk, NDR, MDR, Radio Nacional de España and The New Classical FM (Toronto).

At the age of 16 he made his orchestral debut with the “Concierto de Aranjuez” and the Malaga Youth Symphony Orchestra touring Spain and Morocco. He was awarded scholarships from the Andalusian Government and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation that enabled his studies at the Düsseldorf Hochschule Robert Schumann in Germany with Prof. Joaquin Clerch, where he graduated with highest honors. He later studied with Professor Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Rafael currently lives in Madrid.