Rafael Aguirre is an internationally acclaimed musician whose deep understanding of music, dazzling virtuosity and immensely diverse repertoire has taken him to 33 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), and he is currently one of the most celebrated guitarists worldwide.
His performances have been hailed as “a blessing” (Mainz Echo); “the future of the concert guitar” (Kultur Port); “one of the most acclaimed ambassadors of the Spanish guitar” (El País); as well as emphasizing his “maturity and intensity” (Ritmo).
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, 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 prestigious Verbier Festival in Switzerland performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the Verbier Chamber Orchestra was broadcast by medici.tv, and is one of the most viewed videos on their Facebook page, which gained over 3 million views in just twelve months. 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, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, Thüringen Philharmonic, Pforzheim Chamber Orchestra, New Westfalia Philharmonic, Moscow New Russia, 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, Yoel Levy, Pavel Baleff, 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, to name but a few.
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 will be 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, la 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 Hochschule Robert Schumann de Düsseldorf 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.
September 2, 2017
Recital during his jury duty at the LI Francisco Tárrega International Competition in Benicassim (Spain)
Septiember 14, 2017
Concert in Mülheim an der Ruhr (Germany)
September 23, 2017
“La vida breve” with Nadège Rochat, cello at the Settimane Musicali di Ascona Festival (Switzerland)
October 26, 2017
“La vida breve” with Nadège Rochat, cello at King's Place, London (England)
November 18, 2017
“La vida breve” with Nadège Rochat, cello at the Frank Martin Hall in Geneva for the Goyescas Festival (Switzerland)
November 25, 2017
Concert at the Schumann Haus in Leipzig (Germany)
November 26, 2017
Concert at the Schumann Haus in Zwickau (Germany)
November 29, 2017
“La vida breve” with Nadège Rochat, cello in Hamburg (Germany)
November 30 – December, 1 2017
Concert and Masterclasses at the Düsseldorf Guitar Festival, Düsseldorf (Germany)
December 8-10, 2017
Recital and Concert with Ukraine National Orchestra, Kiev (Ukraine)
December 20, 2017
Concert with the Cammerata Orchestra at the Victor Villegas Auditorium in Murcia (Spain)
January 13, 2018
Concert with Nadège Rochat (cello) for the Hamburgische Kulturstiftung in Hamburg (Germany)
February 14, 2018
Concert with Nadège Rochat (cello) at the Jovellanos Theatre in Gijón (Spain)
March 2, 2018
Presentation of the new album "Fulgores" (Naxos), at La Quinta de Mahler, Madrid (Spain)
March 24-25, 2018
Jury at the Jeunesses Musicales Spain Competition at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid (Spain)
April 7-8, 2018
Recital and Masterclass at the Augsburg Guitar Festival (Germany)
June 12, 13, 14, 2018
Concerts with the Robert Schumann Philharmonie and Guillermo García Calvo (conductor) in Chemnitz (Germany)
June 24, 2018
Concert with the Bolshoi Opera Orchestra Minsk at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg (Germany)
June 30, 2018
Concert with Santa Cecilia Orchestra at the Palacio de los Duques de Pastrana, Madrid (Spain)
July 3, 2018
Opening recital of the Ronda Week of Music (Spain)
16-27 July, 2018
Concert with Nadège Rochat (cello) and Masterclasses at Nancyphonies in Nancy (France)
30 July, 2018
Recital for the Royal Overseas League at the Princess Alexandra Hall in London (England)
17 August, 2018
Concert with Nadège Rochat (cello) at the Santa Cristina d'Aro Festival (Spain)
28 August, 2018
Concert with Nadège Rochat (cello) at the Megève Festival (France)
1 September, 2018
Concert with Claudio Constantini (bandoneon) at the Vilnius Accordeon Festival (Lithuania)
In his solo recitals, Rafael aims to show the versatily of his instrument, including original guitar works, transcriptions from the orchestral and piano literature, latinamerican music, flamenco, film music and even pop and rock.
Guitar and Orchestra
With a repertoire of over 30 concertos for guitar and orchestra, Rafael Aguirre wishes to explore the different conceptions which make the guitar blend with the symphonic repertoire with its characteristic tone and lyrical expression.
Duo with Nadège Rochat, cello
This well-established duo has been active since 2011 and offers a charismatic approach on a very varied duo repertoire. Nedège Rochat's ex-Vatican Stradivarius cello finds an optimal balance with Rafael Aguirre's playing. Their debut CD "La Vida Breve" was highly praised by magazines like The Strad and Gramophone.
Chamber music with Berlin Philharmonic members
This collaboration will start in the season 2018/19 and will feature some of the most relevant repertoire for guitar and other instruments (Boccherini, Schubert, Castelnuovo Tedesco) with members from one of the world's leading musical institutions.
Latin American music with Claudio Constantini, bandoneon
This project with the Peruvian bandoneonist and pianist Claudio Constantini shows the most popular side of the guitar, through the latinamerican repertoire, some incursions in the Spanish repertoire and other very contrasting styles.