Ralph has been interviewed by Bas van Putten about his fascination for the diversity of contemporary classical music, in relationship to the upcoming world première of Vladimir Martynov’s Music for Piano and Orchestra. Published in this week’s issue of De Groene Amsterdammer.
Last Saturday, Ralph played to a sold-out house at the Philharmonie de Paris for the first Pierre Boulez Biennial event. In a performance described as “sublime”, the evening ended to thunderous applause.
During the last week of August, Ralph has recorded his next CD for the Naxos record label. This time he recorded, in the beautiful acoustics of the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, the world premiere of Pierre Boulez’ Prélude, Toccata et Scherzo. Besides that, he recorded other music by some of the the main French composers, that is lesser known or recently discovered, such as Messiaen’s La Fauvette Passerinette and Debussy’s Étude Retrouvée. Stay tuned for the release date!
After Ralph van Raat’s recording of the piano music by Arvo Pärt was used for the renowned series Boardwalk Empire, Ralph is now featured in the soundtrack of the critically acclaimed, Oscar winning film by Luca Guadagnino, Call me by your name with his 2007 Naxos release of John Adams’s Phrygian Gates. This piece is featured, as well as other tracks of this CD. Now playing in theatres worldwide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9AYPxH5NTM
Last Saturday, Ralph performed for the first time the complete cycle of 18 piano études by György Ligeti in the well-attended main hall of De Singel, Antwerp, Belgium. As a preface to the concert, he also gave a 70-minute lecture about the cycle. Journalist Tom Janssens interviewed Ralph for Belgian national newspaper ‘De Standaard’.
At present, Ralph is in France, for masterclasses at the École Normale de Musique in Paris, and consecutively two weeks as a jury member of the Orléans International Piano Competition, together with six other jury members from all over the world. In presence of widows of composer icons such as Mrs. Denisov and Mrs. Jolivet, and in presence of founder of the competition, Mrs. Françoise Thinat, he listened to 31 international candidates performing the broadest variety of 20th and 21st century composers. The competition was opened by the mayor of Orléans, and will close with the finals on Sunday, March 16.
Yesterday, a very positive review was written in newspaper De Volkskrant about Ralph’s performance, last Thursday night, in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam. He played Dutch first performances of unknown works by Debussy, Ravel and Messiaen, plus some works by Boulez. Quoting reviewer Bela Luttmer: ‘[Messiaen’s birds] tweeted under Van Raat’s virtuosic hands…What a fascinating, rich harvest.’
The first review on Ralph’s newest release on Naxos has been posted by reviewer Jan de Kruijff for the largest Dutch online database for classical music, Musicalifeiten. The very positive article uses superlatives! ‘Ralph seems to be the first who took on [The Rite of Spring in Leyetchkiss’ solo version) with amazing success, and who fulfills the high expectations. What a virtuoso he is. […] Both transcriptions are of the original sort, and are, from a quality point of view, and surely when it comes to the interpretations, a little miracle.’