Rafael Popper-Keizer

Hailed by the New York Times as “imaginative and eloquent”; praised by the Boston Globe for his “dazzling dispatch of every bravura challenge” and his “melodic phrasing of melting tenderness,” cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer has established himself definitively as an artist both supremely accomplished and versatile. As one of Boston’s most eminent freelance musicians, his career routinely encompasses everything from continuo in 17th-century motets to solo recitals to avant-garde improvisation to indie rock. Mr. Popper-Keizer’s formative years were spent at the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Laurence Lesser; and at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he performed to great acclaim from Mstislav Rostropovich and Joel Krosnick, and had the opportunity to understudy for Yo-Yo Ma in open rehearsals of Don Quixote with Seiji Ozawa. Mr. Popper-Keizer is the principal cellist of the Boston Philharmonic and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and has made appearances as guest principal with innumerable ensembles throughout New England. He appears regularly as a chamber musician with Emmanuel Music, the Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Winsor Music, Monadnock Music, and the Ibis Camerata, and has enjoyed guest appearances with the Fromm Chamber Players, the Boston Trio, Firebird Ensemble, Walden Chamber Players, Boston Musica Viva, and John Harbison’s Token Creek Festival, among others. Labels for which Mr. Popper-Keizer has recorded include Albany, Arsis, Bridge, Capstone, Helicon, Musical Heritage Society, New World Records, Intrada, and Zimbel; he is also the solo cellist on the BOSE demo CD. Upcoming solo releases include Robert Erickson’s Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra and Yehudi Wyner’s De Novo.