Pianist and musicologist Ralph van Raat has been completely fascinated by classical music of the twentieth century since the age of 14. Although his repertoire ranges from Bach to Boulez, his primary focus has always been on composers dating from Debussy, Bartók and Ives to present day masters. His aim is to convince his audiences of the immense beauty and diversity of music of our own time through solo recitals, lecture-recitals, concerto performances, CD-releases and special projects.
Van Raat appears as a recitalist in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and the United States. Augmenting traditional repertoire, he takes special interest in the performance of contemporary classical music. He has worked closely with many composers on the interpretation of their piano works, such as with John Adams, Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág, Magnus Lindberg, Arvo Pärt and Sir John Tavener. Many composers have written for and dedicated their solo piano compositions to Van Raat, including Gavin Bryars, Frederic Rzewski, Louis Andriessen, Karen Tanaka, Tan Dun and David Lang.
Ralph van Raat performs regularly as a soloist with orchestras including London Sinfonietta, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra and the Dortmunder Philharmoniker. He has worked closely with conductors including Tan Dun, Valery Gergiev, JoAnn Falletta, David Robertson, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Susanna Mälkki, Stefan Asbury and Edo de Waart.
He has performed as a soloist at important festivals including the Gergiev Festival, the BBC Proms, the Festival International de Musique de Besançon, Holland Festival, the Time of Music festival in Viitasaari, Finland, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in the UK, the Berliner Festspiele, the Hong Kong Festival of the Arts and Tanglewood Summer Festival in the United States. He has been given his own concert series at both the Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw of Amsterdam, and Rotterdam’s De Doelen.
Ralph van Raat graduated with honors from both the Conservatory and the University of Amsterdam (musicology). He is a professor of piano at his Alma mater and regularly gives masterclasses and lectures at several European conservatories and for many foundations and universities. Van Raat is frequently invited as a jury member of piano competitions.
Ralph van Raat has recorded over 30 CD’s and he has had an exclusive contract with the international record label Naxos since December 2006. The recorded composers range from Debussy to John Adams. Many of those recordings have been bestsellers, having ranked among the Top 20 bestselling Naxos albums worldwide, and receiving the highest accolades. His recordings have also been featured in movies and series, such as Call Me By Your Name (2017) and Boardwalk Empire (2014).
In addition to winning the First Prize at the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in 1999, Van Raat has won a large number of prizes and awards, including an international Borletti-Buitoni Fellowship, the Philip Morris Arts Award, the Stipend-Prize Darmstadt during the “Internationale Ferienkurse fur Neue Musik” in Darmstadt, the Second Prize as well as the Donemus-Prize (for Contemporary Music) of the Princess Christina Competition, the Elisabeth Everts Prize, the VSCD Classical Music Prize, the Fortis MeesPierson Award of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the Prijs Klassiek (Classics Prize) of the Dutch radio and television broadcaster, NTR.
Ralph van Raat is a Steinway Artist.