Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Ralph Van Raat
BBT Fellowship 2005

Ralph Van Raat - Biography

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

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.

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.

Photographs by Marco Borggreve / Heather Pinkham