Rafael Montero is a young Argentinian tenor, whose professional base is in Cologne where he works as a solo tenor and ensemble singer, singing teacher and coach. Rafael studied singing at the Conservatorio Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina and then in early and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Musique de Neuchatel, Switzerland. He specialises in renaissance Spanish and South American Baroque music and also in romantic and contemporary chamber music from Hispanic South America. He has performed many hispanic Lieder in Europe, including the Sommerblut Festival in Cologne. In 2008, he sang at the first BachFest Cochabamba, Bolivia under the direction of Elizabeth Schwimmer under the sponsorship of the Simon Patino foundation, Geneva. In 2016, he created the first Ancient Music Festival in Jujuy, Argentina “Xuxuy Barroco”, where he sang some of J S Bach’s Songs of the Schemellis Book and arias from cantatas with the Orquesta Infanto Juvenil de Jujuy.
In Germany he founded the ensemble “El Parnaso Hyspano”, recruiting singers and instrumentalists from Spain, Argentina, Germany and Korea, and most recently from the UK, all musicians united by the interest in learning and performing early Hispanic music with different concerts. During the año Cervantino, 2016, he was specially invited by the director of the Instituto Cervantes de Viena to perform music in the times of Cervantes, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’ death. In 2019 he collaborated with Maria Jesus Alonso (clavicembalo) at the Conservatory of Music of Castilla y León, Salamanca, where they performed Spanish and South American baroque works.
Rafael’s heritage is inca and Spanish, and he has spoken Quichua since he was a child. He also specialises in didactic concerts where he introduces the background to the pieces he sings in an approachable way for a general audience. His London debut was in November 2019 where with celebrated pianist Nigel Foster he presented a repertoire of songs from a very little-known body of classical music by Spanish-American and Spanish-influenced composers who wrote songs in Spanish and in Native American languages such as Quichua, Aymara, Nahuatl or Chilean Mapuche. With researcher and pianist John Sloboda (Guildhall School of Music & Drama), he is developing a concept of online concerts for the age of Covid-19 which involve audience-performer interaction. One important focus is the leadership of the mainly London-based ensemble of El Parnaso Hyspano (www.elparnasohyspano.com), involving Kate Smith (Soprano), Veronica Chacon (mezzo-soprano), John Sloboda (bass), Katarzyna Kowalik (Harpsichord and organ), Pablo Tejedor (viola da Gamba, baroque cello) and Fabio Fernandes (lute and guitar). While live venues are closed, they are innovating in producing online materials.
“Veränderungen” musical project with Medieval Spanish Works and Contemporary Music, awarded by Art Foundation NRW.
2020-2021 Performance research project to make the first recording and commentary of the songs of Pedro Ximénez Abril y Tirado for voice and fortepiano, with Carole Cerasi, Professor of fortepiano, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council Open World Research Initiative (OWRI).”
In 2020 he received the Kunstiftung NRW prize for his project “Veränderungen”.
He received a grant from NRW for classical music in indigenous languages in 2021.