Rafael Serrallet – guitar (Spain)

General information

“The orchestra and Serrallet created a magical atmosphere with a spellbound audience. Superb musicality expressed by Serrallet’s magical fingers.” New Strait Times. Kuala Lumpur

To define Rafael Serrallet with only one word is impossible. Nevertheless if one was to try, it would be passion. Passion for music, for beauty and creativity, for the classical guitar, for his ability to transfer emotions during a concert and to connect with the people. Whether within the intimacy of a solo concert or with the splendour of a big stage with thousands of people in attendance, Serrallet touches the heart and soul of his spell bound audiences.

With a career spanning twenty five years and more than a thousand concerts across more than eighty countries, Serrallet is probably the most internationally experienced concertist among the Spanish performers with an “outstanding performance gift” (Corriere de la Sera). He is the first classical musician playing in all seven continents (including the Antarctica) and achieved a Guinness Record because of that. Rafael has become from his own merits one of Spain’s global music ambassadors, as defined by the Brazilian Radio Cultura “Rafael keeps ploughing  the path laid by Segovia, taking the guitar to every corner in the planet”.

“Rafael Serrallet is a charismatic performer who has the ability to literally merge with his guitar during his performances, leaving the audiences breathless”. His most significant skill lies within his amazing control of the tempi and the ‘silences’ that expresses in part the music and for his “articulation of extreme clarity” (Scherzo. Madrid). His powerful performances are inspired from a profound and reflexive knowledge of the repertoire, performing always with respect to the scores, but injecting a very personal and emotional interpretation that  reaches to the heart of the music. His music is  “surprisingly delicate and full of extraordinary charm, tenderness, beauty and perfect softness” (Day-Kiev). It is his personality on the stage and the natural connection he has with the audiences that makes Rafael an exceptional and charming player.

As an educator Rafael is an inspiring and motivating teacher. He is the Director of the International Iberian Musical Institute, which pioneers music and education projects with schools  and conservatories around the world. He has conducted master classes throughout including: the University of Zagreb, University Santo Tomas of Manila, Conservatory of Pardubice, the network of National Conservatories in Morocco, Edward Saïd Conservatory in Jerusalem, National Conservatory of Peru, Conservatory of the UPOLI in Nicaragua, Honduras National Music School, Conservatory of the Universidad Católica de Asunción (Paraguay), Conservatoire of Kenya to name but a few. Rafael has also held a teaching position in conservatories of Orense, Santiago de Compostela and Llíria (Valencia).

Rafael Serrallet is much more than a guitarist, he is a comprehensive musician who wants to share his passion for music with as many people as possible. Contrary to the perception that classical music  can sometimes be elitist and excluding, Rafael likes to approach it as an excellent tool for social integration. He achieves this through music pedagogical projects with disadvantaged children’s groups in Morocco, the Middle East, countries in Africa, Central and South America and parts of Asia.

His education started in Spain in the 80’s next to the guitarist Rodolfo Rodríguez in Salamanca, continuing later in Valencia with Santiago Gras. He finished his studies with the great Maestro José Tomás (Andrés Segovia’s pupil and assistant) in Alicante with honours. He extended his education next to other important guitarists such as David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Alirio Díaz, Joaquín Clerch, Eliot Fisk, Hopkinson Smith, Leo Brouwer and the Romeros. Serrallet is a fellow of the Spanish Academy in Rome (Roma Prize), and has a PhD in music by the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. He also has a Master (DEA) in Musical Pedagogy by the UNED and has also studied singing and conducting.

Among the many concert halls he has performed in we can highlight the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, Liceo of Barcelona, Maestranza of Seville, Konserthus in Oslo, the National Theater of Croatia, Lutowslasky Hall of Warsaw, Esplanade of Singapore, Petronas Filharmonik in Kuala Lumpur, Theater Mohamed V in Rabat, Cairo Opera House, Teatro Nacional in Panamá, Cultural Center of the University of San Marcos in Lima, Teatro Nacional in Managua and the Piata Mare in Sibiu where he has performed on an outdoor stage in front of thousands of people.

As a soloist performer with orchestras he has played next to the Malaysian Philharmonic, the Czech Sinfonietta, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Panamá, Transylvania Philharmonic, Sibiu Philharmonic, Novosibirsk Chamber Orchestra, Joven Orquesta de la Generalitat Valenciana to name a few and has worked with various conductors including Maestros Edmon Colomer, Gálvez Pintado, Manuel Galduf, García Asensio, Oliver Martínez, Igor Palkin, Alexander Polishchuk, Gevorg Sargsyan and Valero-Castells.

Throughout his musical career he has received many different prizes and awards and today this extends also to his overall educational contribution. He has been named “distinguised visitor of the city of Comayagua in Honduras”, he has received the Regione Lazio medal in Italy and has been awarded the  ‘Xirivella Prize’ by his home town in Valencia.

Rafael Serrallet’s performances capture the very heart and soul of the Spanish Guitar and all the wonders that it can represent,  “Rafael Serrallet’s guitar takes us on a mystic journey that connects us to other worlds” (Music Review. Kyiv).