André Raphel

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André Raphel is an American conductor. Since May 2003 he has been the music director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Early life and education[edit]

Born André Raphel Smith in Durham, North Carolina, he began formal music lessons at age 11. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Miami, and pursued further study at Yale University where he earned his Master's Degree. While at Yale University, he studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller. He continued studies with Mueller at the Curtis Institute of Music earning a diploma in conducting, and at the Juilliard School of Music where he received an Advanced Certificate in orchestral conducting.


André Raphel began his career as music director of the Norwalk Youth Symphony (1990). He was assistant conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (1991–1994), where he worked with Leonard Slatkin. He was assistant conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra (1994–2000), working with Wolfgang Sawallisch. He also served as an assistant conductor to Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic (2000–2002). In 2003, he was appointed music director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra.

He has appeared as guest conductor with major orchestras in North America including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra; and in Europe with Bamberger Symphoniker, Moravska Philharmonie and Neubrandenburger Philharmonie.


  • Distinguished Alumnus Award; University of Miami Frost School of Music, 2012
  • Distinguished Service Award; Yale University, 2006
  • Honorary Doctorate; West Liberty University, 2004
  • Order of the Long Leaf Pine; North Carolina Senate, 2001


Music of Barber, Danielpour and Respighi; for Bayerischer Rundfunk, Bamberger Symphoniker
"Honoring the Dream" William Grant Still: Symphony No.1, The Philadelphia Orchestra


  • Laura Stewart, Fall 2008. Our Maestro IN Wheeling Magazine
  • Elaine Mack, November 2009. "Black Classical Musicians in Philadelphia" p. 343-347
  • Peter G. Davis, March 1997. American Classics New York Magazine

External links[edit]