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A dynamic and versatile conductor hailed for his profound musical performances, André Raphel is renowned for his technical brilliance. Raphel has led critically acclaimed festivals, world premieres and commissioned works by Richard Danielpour, Jennifer Higdon, Kenneth Fuchs, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Uri Caine and Hannibal Lokumbe.
Named Conductor Laureate of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra starting with the 2018/19 season, André Raphel led the orchestra as Music Director for 15 years. Other key positions have included, Assistant Conductor to Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic for two years. He was Assistant Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra for six years. Raphel served for three years as Assistant Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony.
Raphel has appeared with most of the major American orchestras including Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. In 2018, he returned to conduct The Philadelphia Orchestra. Raphel has led Germany’s Bamberg Symphony in two recordings for Bavarian Broadcasting. He made his Los Angeles debut conducting at the gala opening of The Broad museum.
André Raphel made his European debut with the Neubrandenburger Philharmonie and has also led the Moravska Philharmonie. He made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in a concert celebrating the centennial of Marian Anderson. Among other numerous orchestras, he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, and Seattle.
Born André Raphel Smith in Durham, North Carolina, he received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Miami. He pursued further study at Yale University where he earned his Master’s Degree. He studied conducting at The Curtis Institute of Music earning a Diploma in conducting, and at The Juilliard School where he received an Advanced Certificate in orchestral conducting.
Raphel is the recipient of numerous honors and awards which attest to his artistry. Among them, The Philadelphia Orchestra issued a special commemorative CD featuring William Grant Still’s Symphony No.1 with Raphel conducting. The North Carolina Senate awarded Raphel the “Order of the Long Leaf Pine” which is the state’s highest honor for a civilian. For further information visit: www.andreraphel.com
André Raphel, conductor
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Songstress Barbara Walker, with her generous, resounding, vocal cords has always been destined for success at center stage. From her musical beginnings as a 16 year old vocalist singing professionally with her organist father, Bill Walker, this young, dynamic West Philadelphian has always been recognized as an impassioned singer of great promise. She is an entertainer in the truest sense of the word, backed by an incredibly powerful voice; a woman whose performance exemplifies the word “excitement".
Her career has been rich and varied, marked by performances in film, theater and recordings with local and international artists and musicians such as LL Cool J for Island/Def Jam Records. Singing “Here Comes the Morning” in the mega hit movie, ”The Score,” starring Robert DiNero, Marlon Brando, Angela Bassett, and Ken Norton, Barbara made her Hollywood debut.
The American Music Theater Festival had the pleasure of working with Barbara Walker in the stage play tribute to Duke Ellington, “Essentially Ellington,” for which she received rave reviews.
She has toured the country with tenor saxophonist extraordinaire, the late Grover Washington, Jr., Patty LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Herbie Hancock, Diane Schuur, Uri Caine, Diana Krall, Les McCann, Bradford Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Chic Corea, Toots Thielemans, the late Oscar Brown, Jr., Bobby Durham, Nancy Wilson, Celine Dion, Micheal Bolton, Manhattan Transfer, and the late Maynard Ferguson.
Barbara Walker, vocalist