“There were moments when the two soloists could not be told apart. It’s no small feat to match a player of Vengerov’s calibre in this way…”

Michael Dervan, Irish Times 2019


“Extraordinary conducting. What an amazing sound that came from the RTE Concert Orchestra under (Rafter’s) direction… Outstanding musicianship and leadership”

Feis Ceoil Music Festival, RTE Concert Orchestra 2022

Regarded as one of Ireland’s most outstanding musicians, international award-winning violinist and conductor Patrick Rafter has toured Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Asia as a soloist, director, conductor, and recitalist. Internationally, Patrick has been the grand prize winner of multiple competitions including the Valiant Violin Competition, Switzerland 2016, the London Performing Arts Competition 2017, and the Dublin Feis Ceoil Conducting Competition 2022. 

During his career, Patrick has studied with and performed alongside some of the most outstanding performers in the world today, including Maxim Vengerov, Schlomo Mintz, Barry Douglas, and John O’Conor. He has also worked with some of the world’s most prominent composers today, such as Arvo Part, and performed with some of the leading conductors including Semyon Bychkov, Marin Alsop, Sir Mark Elder, and Gianandrea Noseda. 

As an orchestral conductor, Patrick has conducted the RTE Concert Orchestra as 1st prize winner of the Dublin Feis Ceoil in 2022. Other upcoming conducting debuts in the season 2023/2024 include Israel Camerata Jerusalem, London Mozart Players, and the Menuhin Soloists. Patrick was the associate conductor of the UCD Symphony orchestra between 2021 and 2022. He has conducted many orchestrates throughout Europe including Laganside Symphonia, Wexford Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern College of Music Chamber and Symphony Orchestras, National Symphony Orchestra Ireland, and the RTE Concert Orchestra among others. He studied orchestral conducting under Alice Farnham, Raymond Holden, Maxim Venger, David Brophy, Ciaran Crilly, and Mark Heron at the Royal Academy Of Music London, University College Dublin, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, and International Menuhin Music Academy, Switzerland. 

As a violinist, Patrick has performed as a soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles including Prague Philharmonia, Mannheim Soloists, National Symphony Orchestra Ireland, RTE Concert Orchestra, Kyiv Soloists, and Camerata Ireland. He has performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls such as the National Concert Hall Ireland, Royal Albert Hall London, Berlin Konzerthaus, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and Seoul Arts Centre. As a choral conductor, Patrick has studied under distinguished names including Roland Börger, Zoltan Pad, Volker Hempfling, and Amy Bebbington. He has conducted some of Ireland’s leading choirs including Chamber Choir Ireland and the UCD Philharmonic Choir. In 2020, he became the artistic director of Carlow Voices, and in 2021, Patrick was awarded the conducting fellow at U.C.D. Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic Choir. 

A protege of the legendary violinist, Maxim Vengerov, Patrick was born in 1991 into a musical family in Kilkenny, Ireland. He quickly became recognized as a prodigious talent winning over 50 national accolades. Patrick received a full scholarship to study at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, studying with Eyal Kless and Fionnuala Hunt. In 2011, Patrick was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he graduated summa cum laude and was awarded multiple prizes throughout his studies. He was also selected as a member of the Academy’s elite string ensemble ‘Sainsbury Royal Academy Soloists’ with whom he made his Wigmore Hall debut in January 2015.  In 2015, Patrick was personally invited to study under Maxim Vengerov at the International Menuhin Music Academy. 

As of 2022, Patrick is a lecturer at Cork School of Music. He previously taught at the Geneva Conservatory of Music and is a visiting professor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin. Upcoming performances include Ireland, the UK, Israel, Germany, France, and Switzerland. Appearances with Prague Philharmonia, Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Bad Nauheim Symphony Orchestra, and the Israel Camerata. Patrick has had multiple radio and television appearances, notably on BBC 1 and 2  (U.K.), Kanal 5 TV (Macedonia), RAI (Italy), RTE (Ireland) and TG4 (Ireland), Kol Hamusica (Israel).

Watch Patrick Rafter in performance with Maxim Vengerov at the National Concert Hall, Dublin.

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