Raphaella Smits plays worldwide in her unique way on eight-string guitars and historical instruments. Recognized as ‘an uncommonly musical guitarist’ (Tim Page, New York Times), she always commits to the soul of the music. Her solo recitals as well as her performances with the most distinguished colleagues always meet enthusiastic audiences and press.
Besides stage-work Raphaella Smits has made 21 recordings, many of them being listed as indispensable to refined music lovers.
Raphaella Smits is internationally praised as an inspiring teacher for both guitar and chamber music. In addition to her chair at the Lemmens Institute in Belgium, she regularly gives master-classes in West and East Europe, in North and South America and in Japan.
Organizers of international music competitions ask Raphaella as a member or as president of the jury because of her ability to listen and to judge so accurately. Here again she shows her talent to combine professional skills with a great sense of empathy.
Raphaella studied classical music at the Royal Conservatories of Antwerp and Brussels. She also went to José Tomàs to perfect her playing at the “Catedra Andrès Segovia” in Spain. At that time she was giving her first recitals and became a persuasive advocate of the eight-string guitar.
In 1986 Raphaella Smits was the first woman to win the first prize of the “XX Certamen Internacional de Guitarra Francisco Tarrega”, the famous international guitar competition in Benicasim, Spain. That victory confirmed the progress of a successful career, which over the previous years had included prizes in the Granada and Palma de Mallorca contests.
Chairmen Andrès Segovia and Narciso Yepes, both expressed their admiration for Raphaella’s musicality and put prophetically confidence in her future achievements.
Today Raphaella Smits is called quite rightly ‘une Grande Musicienne’ and ‘one of the most delicate and most cultivated performers of our time’ (Jean Bernard, Diapason, FR).