Beginning his viola studies at an early age in Venezuela, Rafael Ramirez became involved in classical music with “el Movimiento” Simon Bolivar in 1992. His honors include 2nd place at the State Mandolin Festival, Capacho, Venezuela, a full scholarship with the Slava Bogu String Quartet, Bogotá, Colombia, and First Prize winner of the chamber music competition at Florida International University (2006 and 2007). Mr. Ramirez has participated in master classes with Zvi Zeitlin, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Marc Johnson, Roberto Diaz, Lewis Kaplan, Toby Appel, Erick Shumsky, and the Vermeer, Shanghai, Ying, Bergonzi and Miami String Quartets.
Engagements have included appearances as a soloist with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Táchira State, Venezuela, Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Táchira, Camerata San Cristobal, Collegium Musicum-FIU, Miami Bach Society Orchestra, Hampden-Sydney Music Festival, Bowdoin Music Festival and Pine Mountain Festival. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctorate in Music Performance at the University of Miami. Mr. Ramirez is also a member of the Miami Symphony, Palm Beach Pops and Symphony of the Americas.