Raphael Wallfisch is one of the world’s most celebrated cellists performing on the international stage, renowned for his curiosity and commitment to exploring and broadening the full range of repertoire for the instrument, and drawing on a rich musical heritage.
Raphael was born in London into a family of distinguished musicians, his mother the cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and his father the pianist Peter Wallfisch, and was inspired at an early age by hearing Zara Nelsova play, going on to study in California with Gregor Piatigorsky, who chose him to perform with Jascha Heifetz in the informal recitals at his home. His career was launched at the age of twenty-four when he won the Gaspar Cassadó International Competition in Florence.
Since then he has enjoyed a global career, much loved in his home country where he has forged close relationships with orchestras including the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé, BBCNOW, Royal Scottish National, BBC Scottish and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic; and respected around the world, working throughout Europe.
The depth of Wallfisch’s interest in the repertoire is borne out in his extraordinary discography. He enjoyed strong early collaborations and musical friendships with such legendary British conductors as Vernon Handley, Richard Hickox and Charles Mackerras, and he is now President of the British Music Society.
Heis dedicated to expanding the cello repertoire, working closely with many ofBritain’s leading composers, many of whom have written works especially forhim, including Peter Maxwell Davies, Kenneth Leighton, Giles Swayne, JohnTavener and James MacMillan, which he recorded with the BBC Scottish Symphonywith Osmo Vänskä.
As a soloist and consummate chamber musician, he has toured worldwide, performing at many of the world’s prestigious halls and festivals including the Concertgebouw, Wiener Konzerthaus and Berliner Philharmonie, alongside regular festival appearances as well as the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh and Edinburgh International.
The strong influence of Wallfisch’s early teachers including Amaryllis Fleming, Amadeo Baldovino and Derek Simpson has led to his passion in working with new generations of cellists and he is in demand as a teacher, currently as Professor at the Royal College of Music and was recently appointed International Chair of Violoncello and Chamber Music at Trinity Laban Conservatoire.