US cellist’s groom is new chief in Ireland

US cellist’s groom is new chief in Ireland


norman lebrecht

January 13, 2014

The Ulster Orchestra has announced a Venezuelan as its next chief conductor. He is Rafael Payare, 33, a personal protege of sistema founder Jose Antonio Abreu. In 2012, he won the Nikolai Malko competition. Last summer he married the cellist Alisa Weilerstein.

alisa weiler wedding


He succeeds JoAnn Faletta in September. The orchestra has severe financial problems and has laid off several staff.

Announcement here.


  • …Maestro Payare has already worked with some of the leading orchestras of Europe and North America (Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink and Daniel Barenboim among others)…

    I knew that Charles de Gaulle used to be the French president but is now an airport, but I had no idea these venerable stick-wagglers were now actually fully functioning symphony orchestras.

    Judging by the photo, does Belfast think they’re getting Dudamel? They might be surprised.

    Just three years for JoAnn Faletta? Glad to see that went well, then.

  • timwalton3 says:

    Rafael is conducting the CBSO on May 1st – Brahms, Schumann & Rimsky-Korsakov.

    looking forward to the concert