For a young musician, besides talent, the availability of financial resources usually plays an important role in the development of his or her career. Especially in an age where genuine cultural life seems to subside and make way for the machine of massive commerce, the vital role the Borletti-Buitoni Trust has achieved in supporting classical musicians is unique and very much to be praised. And it is not only the funds that the Trust offer, but with it, the safe feeling of professional backing in all areas of musicianship in which the Trust excels. Let us rejoice the wonderful initiative of the people who have lit the light in this culturally dark age.Ralph van Raat"
Ralph van Raat was supported by Borletti-Buitoni Trust between 2005 and 2011, when this page was last updated. For an up to date biography go to www.ralphvanraat.com.
Pianist and musicologist Ralph van Raat (born 1978) studied the piano with Ton Hartsuiker and Willem Brons at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and Musicology at the University of Amsterdam. He concluded both studies 'With Distinction' in 2002 and 2003. Van Raat also studied with Claude Helffer (Paris), Liisa Pohjola (Helsinki), Ursula Oppens at Chicago’s Northwestern University and Pierre-Laurent Aimard at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. Van Raat has won Second Prize and Donemus-Prize (for Contemporary Music) of the Princess Christina Competition (1995); Stipend-Prize Darmstadt during the "Internationale Ferienkurse fur Neue Musik" in Darmstadt (1998); First Prize of the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition (1999); Philip Morris Arts Award (2003); Elisabeth Everts Prize (2005); a Borletti-Buitoni Fellowship (2005); VSCD Classical Music Prize (2005) and the Fortis MeesPierson Award of the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (2006). He appears as a recitalist and as a soloist with orchestras in Europe, the Middle-East, Asia and in the United States. Van Raat worked with many composers such as John Adams, Magnus Lindberg, John Tavener and Arvo Pärt, and many have dedicated piano compositions to him. With help of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, Gavin Bryars has written a new concerto for Ralph van Raat to be premiered in February 2010. He has an exclusive recording contract with Naxos. The high critical acclaim of his recordings led Naxos to publish a dedicated Artist Profile CD-box in 2009 with his complete Naxos recordings to date. Ralph van Raat has been a Steinway Artist since 2003.
Photographs by Marco Borggreve
BBT Project: Gavin Bryars Piano Concerto The Solway Canal Naxos CD
"Bryars’s craftsmanship is undeniable, the sources imaginatively chosen and cleverly manipulated, the integrity absolute…Van Raat is a passionate, skilled advocate."
Stephen Pettitt, Sunday Times March 2011
BBT Project: John Adams Complete Piano Music, CD on Naxos
"...van Raat obtains a near-hypnotic control in the two early pieces, almost mechanical in its reliability, and he bubbles with life in the later two"
International Piano Magazine March/April 2007 Martin Anderson
"Van Raat made "Phrygian Gates" grippingly sing, breathe naturally, blindingly change colours, fill the space with sonorous sounds and whisper intimately. Breath-taking"
Anthony Fium, Luister, June 2007
Gavin Bryars Piano Concerto
Gavin Bryars: Piano Concerto The Solway Canal (excerpt; recorded live at Muziekgebouw Amsterdam)
Scored for the uncommon combination of piano, orchestra and male voice choir, the concerto was commissioned by BBT with Dutch Broadcaster NPS and received its premiere in Utrecht on 19 February 2010. This recording was taken the following evening at Muziekgebouw Amsterdam. Naxos will release a recording of the work together with complete piano works of Gavin Bryars, performed by Ralph van Raat.
Ralph van Raat piano
Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic
Otto Tausk conductor
Courtesy of Dutch Broadcaster NPS | www.nps.nl
John Adams: Complete Piano Music
Hallelujah Junction for two pianos
"Van Raat made "Phrygian Gates" grippingly sing, breathe naturally, blindingly change colours, fill the space with sonorous sounds and whisper intimately. Breath-taking" (Luister, June 2007).
Ralph van Raat piano
Marteen van Veen piano (Hallelujah Junction)
from the CD "John Adams: Complete Piano Music"
8.559285 | www.naxos.com
Supported by Borletti-Buitoni Trust
WRITING IN THE LIGHT OF HISTORYCommissioned by Ralph van Raat, concerto challenge for Gavin Bryars
BBT has co-commissioned a new piano concerto from Gavin Bryars, for Ralph van Raat. We filmed with the pianist and the composer at the beginning of the creative process in 2006, the latter feeling that this will be the most considered large scale work that he has ever written. The work is co-commissioned by Dutch Radio Broadcasting Company for the world premiere on 19 February 2010 in Vredenburg, Utrecht,with Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmony and Cappella Amsterdam conducted by Otto Tausk.
THE PULSE OF LIFERalph van Raat, recording the complete piano works of John Adams for Naxos
Ralph van Raat talks about his passion for contemporary music and the recording for Naxos of the complete piano works of John Adams (audio excerpts on this website). Our film includes the pianist’s recital of the music of Adams and Charles Ives at Kleine Zaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (November 2005).