Raphaella SMITS
BIOGRAPHY / page 1 2 3 4 5









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Royal Conservatory of Antwerp

Arcadian concerting with Wim Brabants

Maestro Tomas welcomes Raphaella in Allicante (SP)


At the age of 13 Raphaella went to study guitar with Victor Van Puyenbroeck at the music academy in Mechelen. Besides guitar, there she got also courses of solfège, music history, chamber music, etcetera. She continued with the same teacher at the Kunsthumaniora (secundary school focused on the arts) and after that at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp: seven years all together.

Victor Van Puyenbroeck encouraged Raphaella to take part in the summer classes of José Tomàs in Spain. She was 16. Raphaella spent five consecutive summers with Tomàs in Alicante and in Santiago de Compostella. Not only the teaching was great, meeting so may good players from all over the world was very stimulating and a lot of fun!

The importance of José Tomàs was enormous. He was a fantastic musician and in a way the go-between to connect his students with old masters like De Falla, Manén, Mompou, Rodrigo, Segovia, Torroba, Turina, ... And it was 'Pepe' who made Raphaella a firm believer of the qualities of an eightstring guitar.

During those years - the seventies - Raphaella went on singing in different choirs, she learned to play the traverse flute and the lute, and followed a guitar master-class with Oscar Ghiglia in Paris.
She got interested in Early Music and attended enthousiastically lectures, classes and concerts by pioneering people like Jos van Immerseel, René Jacobs, the Kuijken brothers, Konrad Junghanel, Egene Dombois, and many others.

In 1979 Raphaella went to the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels with the teachers Albert Sundermann and Jef Goor. There she got her concert diploma in 1981.

Victor Van Puyenbroeck (1932-1996)
Albert Sundermann
Jef Goor
Jos Van Immerseel
Konrad Junghänel
José (Pepe) Tomās
Oscar Ghiglia

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