"One of the most acclaimed ambassadors of the Spanish guitar."
"Fabulous. Tremendous 'Concierto de Aranjuez.' Aguirre enters in the history of Spanish music as one of the most interesting current musicians of the legendary work of maestro Rodrigo."
Rafael Aguirre is one of the most sought-after guitarists at an international level, having received thirteen top First Prizes for his instrument, such as in the Tárrega Competition, and also obtaining relevant awards in all instrumental categories, such as the New York Pro Musicis. He was named Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in London (ARAM), in recognition of his international career, which has spanned 43 countries.
In the 2023/24 season, he tours the United States, making his debut at Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. He returns on his fourth tour of Japan and debuts in Mexico at the Festival Cervantino. He also makes debuts with Banatul Philharmonic in Romania, Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Pannon Philharmonic, Reno Philharmonic, and Orchestre de l'Opéra National de Lorraine. He performs in concert at Heidelberger Frühling.
Rafael has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Verbier Festival, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Philharmonie am Gasteig in Munich, Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, King's Place in London, Hyogo Performing Arts Center, and Seoul Arts Center as well as in many of the leading venues in Spain, such as the Teatro Real, Auditorio Nacional, Palacio Euskalduna, Auditorio de Zaragoza Auditorium, and Palau de la Música Catalana and Valencia.
With a solid classical training, the result of the inheritance of the tradition of Andrés Segovia and Narciso Yepes, Rafael Aguirre has multiple musical interests beyond recitals and performances with orchestra, performing with an ensemble of musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic, the pianist Lang Lang, the sopranos Fatma Said and Hera Hyesang Park, regularly with the cellist Nadège Rochat, and many others. He is also committed to expanding the repertoire of his instrument, working with multiple living composers and also including in his performances flamenco, Latin American and Spanish popular music, and pop and film music.
With a repertoire of more than 30 concerts for guitar and orchestra, he has performed under the batons of Jesús López Cobos, Thierry Fischer, Ludovic Morlot, Lorenzo Viotti, Alondra de la Parra, Karina Canellakis, José Serebrier, Roberto González Monjas, Manuel Hernandez Silva, François López-Ferrer, Clemens Schuldt, Domingo Hindoyán, Guillermo García Calvo, Pablo Mielgo, Pavel Baleff, Clark Rundell, Juan Carlos Lomónaco, Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez, Álvaro Albiach, Yoel Levi, and Gabriel Bebeselea, among many others. He also performs with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, China NCPA Orchestra, Daejeon Philharmonic, Sinfónica del Estado de Sao Paulo (OSESP), Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Orchestre National de Lyon, Prague PKF Philharmonia, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orchestre Royal Philharmonique de Liège, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Theater Orchester Biel Solothurn, Ulster Orchestra, Billings Symphony, Symphony of the Americas, Baden-Baden Philharmonie, Thüringen Philharmonie, Pforzheim Kammerorchester, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Moscow New Russia, Bulgarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Serbian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de l´Opéra de Toulon, Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga, Franz Schubert Philharmonia, Orquesta de Extremadura, among others.
He released his first album with a recital published by RTVE Música, which was followed by two more recitals for Naxos. With the German label KSGExaudio he released Transcriptions, which featured music by Bach, Scarlatti, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Debussy, Ravel, and Gershwin transcribed for guitar from original piano works. His assiduous collaboration with cellist Nadège Rochat gave rise to La vida breve, published by Ars Produktion. Two other projects introduced him to Brazilian music: Classica Brasiliana (MDG), with Anette Maiburg's ensemble and "Fado Lopes," recorded with singer Filipa Tavares. He made the world premiere recording of "Fulgores," by Lorenzo Palomo, together with the Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra, the violinist Ana Valderrama, and Maestro Jesús López Cobos for the Naxos label. He recently recorded with soprano Fatma Said for Warner Classics. This CD was awarded with the BBC Music Magazine Award and the Opus Klassik from Germany.
As a result of this recording work, he has been pre-nominated for a Latin Grammy and has received enthusiastic reviews from Gramophone, The Strad, and Crescendo as well as appearing on international radio programs such as the BBC, NPR, CBS, Radio Stephansdom of Vienna, Radio Berlin Brandenburg, HR Hessische Rundfunk, Bayerische Rundfunk, NDR, MDR, Radio Nacional de España, and Toronto's The New Classical FM.
At the age of 16 he made his orchestral debut with the Málaga Youth Orchestra on a tour in Spain and Morocco. He received a scholarship from the Junta de Andalucía and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn to study in Germany with Professor Joaquín Clerch at the Hochschule Robert Schumann in Düsseldorf, where he graduated with honors. He later studied with Professor Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He currently resides in Madrid.