Winner of numerous prizes including the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and the Parkhouse Award, violinist Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne was born in Poland in 1978. He studied with Wen Zhou Li at the Yehudi Menuhin School and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and subsequently in Vienna with Gerhard Schulz. His studies have been generously funded by various organisations including Ashurst Morris Crisp and the Herbert von Karajan Centre in Vienna.
Rafal has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, Munich and Zürich Chamber Orchestras. He had the honour of working on several occasions with the late Lord Menuhin as conductor.
He performed Khatchaturian's Violin Concerto for the composer's centenary celebrations with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2004 gave the British premiere of Alexander Arutunian's Violin Concerto as well as performing the work at the composer's 85th Birthday Concert in Yerevan. In September 2009 he gave the Polish premiere of Hanna Kulenty's 2nd Violin Concerto with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Warsaw Autumn Festival. In 2012 he recorded Zbigniew Baginski's Violin Concerto with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and performed as a soloist with the Polish Youth Philharmonic on a tour across Poland.
In 2005 Rafal became the Solo Violinist of the international Frankfurt based contemporary music group Ensemble Modern, as part of which he regularly performs in many of the world's top venues and festivals. He has performed on several occasions as a soloist with the Ensemble Modern (Ferneyhough's Terrain at the Salzburg Festival, Berg's Chamber Concerto at the Schwetzingen SWR Festival and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Concertino de Printemps at the Kurt Weill Fest in Dessau).
Rafal's has recorded a recital disc for the EMI Debut Series featuring works by Szymanowski, Britten and Grieg. His most recent recording was released on the Ensemble Modern Media Label with works by Bartok, Janacek, Lutoslawski and Mitropoulos.
Rafal plays on a violin made by J.B.Villaume.
© Ensemble Modern