Thomas Michelsen, Politiken
Graham Rickson, theartsdesk.com
A consummate violist, Rafaell Altino is equally at home performing solo recitals, chamber concerts, as soloist or in an orchestra. Presently in his 22nd season as principal viola with the Odense Symphony Orchestra in Denmark, Rafaell began his musical studies in his home country of Brazil with his father at the age of nine. At seventeen he moved to the United States where he continued his musical education. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music in New York where his principal teachers include Marylou Speaker Churchill, Burton Fine, Louis Krasner and Samuel Rhodes.
He is a frequent guest at international music festivals and concerts engagements have taken him to most corners of the globe. His chamber music collaborations include such artists as Nikolaj Znaider, Benjamin Schmid, Ilya Gringolts, Antonio Meneses, Andreas Brantelid, Roland Pöntinen, Marianna Shirinyan as well as the Henschel and Miró string quartets.
As a soloist, Rafaell has performed with conductors such as Alexander Vedernikov, Michael Schønwandt, Thomas Søndegard, Mathias Bamert and Michail Jurovsky works by Bartok, Walton, Hindemith, Paganini, Berlioz as well as those concertos written for him by Karsten Fundal, Søren Nils Eichberg and Christian Lindberg.
A strong advocate of new music, Mr. Altino has commissioned a number of new works for the viola, including solo works by the Brazilian composers Danilo Guanais, Henrique Vaz, Nelson Almeida and Marcilio Onofre as well as the Danish composers Poul Ruders, Bent Sørensen, Anders Koppel, Karsten Fundal, Søren Nils Eichberg and Niels Rosing-Schow, whose solo viola works has been release for the Danish music label Dacapo in February/2019. He has recorded Christian Lindberg’s viola concerto ’Steppenwolf’ for the Swedish BIS label which was nominated for best contemporary recording in the International Classic Music Awards, and during the 2019/20 he will be recording of those concertos written for him by Karsten Fundal, Søren Nils Eichberg and Christian Winther Christensen (premiere on November/2019). A dedicated pedagogue, Mr. Altino has given numerous master classes in festivals throughout the globe and teaches at the Danish National Academy of Music in Odense, as well as the Malmö Academy of Music in Sweden. He plays on unknown French viola from late 1700 and a James Tubbs bow, generously on loan by the ‘Instrumentfonden’ of Odense Symphony Orchestra.
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SØREN NILS EICHBERG
WORKS FOR SOLO
The viola occupies a special place in the psyche of musicians and composers. It is an instrument of mystery, soulfulness and even of protest and revolt.
Rafaell Altino, principal viola of the Odense Symphony Orchestra, presents this exploration of his instrument’s power and possibilities as realized by six leading Danish composers. Some explore the viola as a tool for sound production while others relish what its distinctive also singing voice does to melodies. The results are as touching and warm as they are fearsome and defiant.
BY: MIKAEL KRARUP
According to the trumpeter, conductor, arranger and not least composer Christian Lindberg, it would be “pretentious nonsense” to try to genre-classify his music. So I almost fail – and find that his collaboration with the Odense symphonics and their solo viola player Rafael Altino at least works impeccably in judging by this release.
Most of Lindberg’s more than 70 orchestral works are commissioned works, including the bracket concert “Steppenwolf”, just commissioned by the orchestra, about the lone wolf, the outsider, whose stride is characterized nicely by the deep melancholy expressed by the instrument, convincingly played by Altino, rhythmically resilient, but also with the gentle, mournful voice.
Nominated for an International Classical Music Award 2019 in the New Music category.