"Raphael is a brilliant harpist and pianist with compositions equally as fascinating. Once I considered myself his mentor, but now we inspire each other on a more equal footing."
The history of music is filled with legendary names, larger than life stories and multiple surprises. Piano and harp virtuoso, RAPHAEL RUDD stepped into the pages of music history initially as a classical performer not aware of his future impact in rock.
Trained in the classics at both Julliard and the Manhattan School of Music, Raphael honed his performance skills while refining his compositional style. His work had already been accepted in a number of prestigious competitions around the world. One of his early achievements was an award from the Library of Congress in recognition of his compositional skills.
Raphael's performances throughout the New York area caused a stir in the local music community. He was actively sought after as a session player for both piano and harp. Infused with British rock inspirations, but holding firmly on to his classical foundations, Raphael's compositions and performing style began to take on a new flavor. He continued to expand his role by stepping into the role of producer. One project, an obscure soft-rock album, found its way into Pete Townshend's hands.
Townshend, the guiding force of Britain's The Who, was drawn to the young composers arrangements and contacted the New Jersey native. Raphael found himself invited to the UK, hired to arrange and conduct members of the London Symphony Orchestra for an upcoming film project The Who's rock opera Quadrophenia, the follow up to the legendary Tommy.
Genuinely impressed by Raphael's talent, Townshend took him under his wing. Soon, Raphael was working on Townshend's solo projects including his release Empty Glass, arranging and conducting the orchestral sections of the hit single "Rough Boys."
While in England, Raphael continued to write solo material and soon had enough for a double disc release. With his strong ties in the UK music scene, he recorded The Awakening Chronicles in 1980 with guests Pete Townshend, Phil Collins and Annie Haslam, lead vocalist for the British rock band Renaissance. His introduction to Annie led to yet another leap in Raphael's music career. Shortly after finishing the Awakening project, Raphael returned stateside to become the keyboardist for Renaissance, spending the next 10 years with the band. All the while, Raphael continued to work on solo material, recording several albums and touring throughout the world.
Raphael's solo career was taking off, but that changed after he became the random victim of a brutal attack. His right hand was deeply cut, severing ligaments and tendons. Despite a poor prognosis, his spirit was not broken. The long road to recovery prevented his live performances temporarily. Raphael spent the last 4 years working with his hand that has regained its unique flexibility.
His compositions and playing always possesses the essence of spirituality. With the emotional embrace of raw human expression, Raphael's solo work brings him to new audiences. The next step is with Rhino Records and his new disc The Oceanic Concerts recorded live with Pete Townshend.
The Oceanic Concerts were private events, held in England, celebrating a musical partnership between Raphael Rudd and Pete Townshend. This concert allowed both artists to perform new material and arrangements for a live audience. The release of this special recording places Raphael back on the path he began earlier and allows him to compose the passionate, powerful instrumental songs that have become his signature. Raphael's qualitative musical expression reaches out to inspire others, encouraging all to rise above obstacles and believe in oneself.
Reflections (RCA Canada - 1984)
Beyond Love (Meher Prasad - 1987)
Sky Dancer (Polystar/Polygram - 1991)
The Awakening Chronicles (Wedge Music -1996)
The Oceanic Concerts (Rhino - 2001)
Renaissance: Unplugged Live at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia USA (Moon Crest Records - 2001)
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