Raphaël Sévère

Discovered by the public at the Victoires de la Musique Classique in 2010 when he was nominated for “Révélation Soliste Instrumental” at the age of 15, Raphaël Sévère currently ranks as the youngest representative of the French school of clarinet. His outstanding musical record is highlighted by winning the 1st Prize at the Tokyo International Competition at the age of 12, as well as the 1st Prize and eight (out of 10) Special Prizes of the Young Concert Artists Competition in New York in 2013.

Sévère has made concerto débuts with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester at the Berlin Philharmonie, Orchestra of St Luke’s at the Alice Tully Hall in New York, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestre Symphonique de l’Opéra de Toulon, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Orchestre de l’ Opéra de Lorraine, Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Sinfonia Varsovia etc.

In solo and chamber recitals, Sévère has performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Kennedy Center in Washington, Merkin Hall in New York, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, KKL Luzern, Fondazione La Società dei Concerti in Milan, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, French May Arts Festival in Hong Kong, Festival International de Colmar, Menton Festival, Grand Théâtre d’ Aix-en-Provence, Festival Musiques en Été in Geneva etc. He has shared the stage with chamber music partners such as the Modigliani, Ébène, Pražák and Van Kuijk quartets, the Wanderer and Messiaen trios, Martha Argerich, Boris Berezovsky, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, Gidon Kremer, David Grimal, Gérard Caussé, Antoine Tamestit, Gary Hoffman, Xavier Phillips, François Salque and more. He performs regularly with pianist Adam Laloum and cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière, with whom he released an album dedicated to Brahms on the Mirare label which received a Diapason d’ Or in 2015.

As a composer, his first work Obscurs for clarinet and guitar was published by Éditions l’ Empreinte Mélodique in 2016 and premiered at Salle Cortot in Paris with Antoine Morinière. In 2019, he composed his Seven Miniatures for solo piano and Entre Chien et Loup for solo guitar. In 2020, he wrote his first concerto for clarinet and orchestra, commissioned by the Orchestre National de Bretagne.

Sévère’s recordings on the Mirare label have received the Diapason d’Or, ffff Télérama and Choc-Classica awards. In 2017, he released an album dedicated to Carl Maria von Weber’s first Clarinet Concerto, recorded at the Berlin Philharmonie with the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin under the direction of Aziz Shokhakimov, as well as two of the composer’s other works with pianist Jean-Frédéric Neuburger. Having enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration with the Trio Messiaen, they released an album in 2018 devoted to the Quatuor Pour la Fin du Temps by Olivier Messiaen, as well as Court Studies from “The Tempest” by Thomas Adès. His latest album is dedicated to Mozart’ s Clarinet Concerto and Quintet, recorded with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris under Lars Vogt, and with the Quatuor Modigliani.

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© Sylvain Picart