Rafael Marino Arcaro is a Brazilian composer based in Berlin, Germany and London, UK. In his work, he hunts for music that brings an original insight into Brazilian artistic identity and musical temperament. He composes in sharply-defined aesthetic ideas and musical materials striving for clarity and restraint.
Marino Arcaro is currently working on his op. 22, an orchestral work commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra that will premiere in the Barbican Centre as part of the 2024/25 LSO season.
Most recently, Marino Arcaro’s work for orchestra, “infanthood of clouds”, op.15, was performed in the Sala São Paulo hall, in Brazil, at the closing concert of South America’s largest music festival – the Campos do Jordão Winter Music Festival – to an audience of 1400 people. Rafael has also had his “violin concerto”, op. 14, premiered by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2022 and has his new chamber work, “lobo”, op. 19, premiering in 2024, funded by the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust. He is currently preparing to start work on his first opera, a 40-minute half-staged work for 2 singers and 13 instrumentalists.
Rafael has a Masters degree from the Royal Academy of Music and is currently working toward his PhD at KCL under the mentorship of Sir George Benjamin.
In 2023/24, Rafael’s premieres include: a guitar and cello piece for Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Plínio Fernandes at Wigmore Hall; a chamber work funded by the RVW Trust; a large-scale solo guitar piece commissioned by Fábio Zanon; and a sonata for cello and piano at the Brazilian Embassy in London.
Rafael’s music has been described as, “at the same time, extremely sophisticated and accessible to a more attentive listener” by João Marcos Coelho, on an article on Rafael’s music on Brazilian newspaper Estadão. Composer Steve Goss, on the occasion of the premiere of Arcaro’s op. 7, “concerto apinayé” for guitar & orchestra wrote, “Rafael’s music is groundbreaking, moving, exhilarating, intense, and strikingly original…” and Graham Marshall from the Rochdale Music Society at Alwyn Festival wrote that “[his new work] is a musical embodiment of the nature of the Brazilian rain forest and its indigenous people, savagely tender and wildly beautiful, calling for extreme treatment of the instruments involved. (…) this performance was greeted with gasps of astonishment and rapturous approval.”
Rafael has enjoyed working with many institutions such as the Royal Opera House in London on two occasions, the Royal Academy of Music’s Guitar Department, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra – amongst others. Marino Arcaro has also been commissioned by solo performers and chamber groups such as international classical music star cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and guitarist Plínio Fernandes, guitarists Vitor Noah, Giacomo Susani and Brad Johnson, accordionist Iñigo Mikeleiz-Berrade, the baroque ensemble Les Laurentines, the cello-flute duo Improv Indigo, flute-guitar Meraki Duo, cellist Sarah Gait, among many others. Rafael has also worked with musicians and groups such as acclaimed percussionist Colin Currie, pianist Zubin Kanga, the Chroma Ensemble, Tritium Trio, CoMA London, the Lontano Ensemble and others, as well as having his music played by the Ensemble Modern in Festival de Campos do Jordão in Brazil. His music has also been featured in exhibitions around the world such as the nationwide Brazilian exhibition FILE in 2018.
Rafael grew up in the countryside of Brazil and moved to São Paulo for his Bachelor where he graduated in Philosophy of Communication and Film-Making in 2012. Following that, he did his Music Bachelor' studies on his own as a self-taught student with the aid of music theory professor Marisa Ramires and internationally recognised guitarist and producer Paulo Martelli. After a brief course of studies in the Masters in Musicology at the University of São Paulo, Rafael got accepted straight into the Masters Programme in Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in 2016 where he studied with Morgan Hayes and Chris Austin before starting his PhD at King’s College London.