Rafael Marino Arcaro is a Brazilian composer based in London, UK. He is currently a London Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artist for the season of 2021/22 for which he's writing a Violin Concerto premiering at Queen Elizabeth Hall with the LPO under the baton of Brett Dean on July 2022, and a London Symphony Orchestra Artist for the Panufnik Composers Scheme in 2022/23. In 2020, Rafael received funding from the RVW Trust to write his Op. 10, a 30-minute cello and piano sonata, which will be released in February 2022.
His music is partly inspired by his research on native Amazonian communities, as well as folk and literary Brazilian culture. Arcaro is in pursuit of an original vision for Brazilian artistic identity and musical temperament within the framework of contemporary music. He often composes in thick brush strokes, and focuses on sharply-defined aesthetic ideas and clearly outlined musical materials. He is also interested in the exploration of the extremes of musical expression and strives to never repeat himself while maintaining his artistic signature.
He holds a Masters Degree in Composition from the Royal Academy of Music and is currently working towards his PhD at King’s College London with Sir George Benjamin. He studied at the RAM in receipt of the Lena S. B. Pritchard Green Award and the Ismena Holland Prize.
Marino Arcaro got international recognition in 2019 with his large-scale Concerto Apinayé for guitar & orchestra, commissioned in partnership by the Audentia Ensemble and the Royal Academy of Music and subsequently released by GuitarCoop. Among many reviews, the piece was described by acclaimed international guitarist Fábio Zanon as an “ (…) outstanding premiere and a momentous occasion for the guitar and Brazilian Music”. Sought-after composer Stephen Goss wrote, “Sometimes, something very important comes along. Rafael Marino Arcaro’s Concerto Apinayé is groundbreaking, moving, exhilarating, intense, and strikingly original…”
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 and the LPO – 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.
Marino Arcaro is also sketching the outlines of his first opera, a 40-minute genre-bending staged piece for 10 musicians and 3 singers premiering both in São Paulo, Brazil and London, UK in 2024.
Furthermore, Marino Arcaro’s book of preludes for the solo guitar has been the focus of a Master thesis by prominent young guitarist Vitor Noah with the supervision of guitarist and pedagogue Paolo Pegoraro at Die Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Graz, in Austria, where his guitar music was praised by the examination jury with the presentation of a lecture-recital and a research paper by guitarist Vitor Noah.
Rafael grew up in the countryside of Brazil and moved to São Paulo for his Bachelors where he graduated in Philosophy of Communication and Film-Making in 2012. Following that, he did his Music Bachelors studies on his own as a self-taught student with the aid of music theory professor Marisa Ramires Rosa de Lima 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.