“He is a prodigious artist, who combines the gift of rare sound perfection with a deep, delicate, intense and quivering sensitivity.” Le Monde

French horn debut

Rafael Payare was born in Venezuela in 1980 and started learning music at the age of 14. He set his sights not on the piano or the violin… but on the French horn. He had been mesmerized by the sound of the instrument when, one day, he heard the music of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture emanating from his brother’s room.


From instrumentalist…

Rafael Payare rose to the rank of principal horn of the prestigious Simón Bolívar Youth Symphony Orchestra. At the time, he felt that before he could become a conductor, he must first excel at his instrument, and then grow old and get white hair. Only then could he aspire to become a conductor.

…to conductor

And then the Italian maestro Giuseppi Sinopoli came to Venezuela. He got the orchestra to do exactly as he wanted without speaking a single word of Spanish. Rafael Payare was captivated by the power and profession of conductor. A few years later, the conductor José Antonio Abreu gave him the opportunity to prove himself as an orchestra conductor. Payare has been conducting some of the world’s greatest orchestras ever since.

The secret to his success?

Rafael Payare stands out. Those who have only seen him will say that it is because of his 70s rock-star looks. Those who have heard him conduct an orchestra quickly forget his physical appearance and are aware only of his total commitment to music, his authenticity and overflowing passion.

« Whenever you make music, you have to make it with total commitment and honesty, as if it’s the last breath that you will ever take » – Rafael Payare

Rafael Payare will conduct the OSM for two concerts on September 27.