Extraordinary sensitivity and lyricism in the music of five centuries, performed on eight-string and historical instruments
“Miss Smits is an uncommonly musical guitarist: she has nimble fingers, a prismatic sense of timbre, and a serene dignity that informs all she plays.” — The New York Times
Friday, September 5, 2014, at 8:00 PM
Baruch Performing Arts Center
55 Lexington Avenue (entrance on East 25th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues)
New York City (see map)
BACH Cello Suites Nos. 1 and 5
WEISS Tombeau sur la mort de M. Compte de Logy
MERTZ Elegie and Le Romantique
Raphaella Smits plays worldwide in her unique way on eight-string guitars and historical instruments. Recognized as “an uncommonly musical guitarist” (Tim Page, The New York Times), she always commits to the soul of the music. Her solo recitals as well as her performances with the most distinguished colleagues always meet enthusiastic audiences and press.
Besides stage work, she has made five LPs and, since 1986, for Accent Records 12 CDs, many of them being listed as indispensable to refined music lovers.
Ms. Smits is internationally praised as an inspiring teacher for both guitar and chamber music. In addition to her chair at the Lemmens Institute in Belgium, she regularly gives master-classes in West and East Europe, in North and South America and in Japan.
Organizers of international music competitions ask Ms. Smits as a member of the jury because of her ability to listen and to judge so accurately. Here again she shows her talent to combine professional skills with a great sense of empathy.
She studied classical music at the Royal Conservatories of Antwerp and Brussels. She also went to José Tomàs to perfect her playing at the “Catedra Andrés Segovia” in Spain. At that time she was giving her first recitals and became a persuasive advocate of the eight-string guitar.
In 1986 Raphaella Smits was the first woman to win the first prize of the “XX Certamen Internacional de Guitarra Francisco Tarrega,” the famous international guitar competition in Benicasim, Spain. That victory confirmed the progress of a successful career, which over the previous years had included prizes in the Granada and Palma de Mallorca contests. Chairmen Andrés Segovia and Narciso Yepes both expressed their admiration for Raphaella’s musicality and prophetically put confidence in her future achievements.
Today Ms. Smits is called quite rightly “une Grande Musicienne” and “one of the most delicate and most cultivated performers of our time” (Jean Bernard, Diapason, France).