Last Saturday, Ralph performed for the first time the complete cycle of 18 piano études by György Ligeti in the well-attended main hall of De Singel, Antwerp, Belgium. As a preface to the concert, he also gave a 70-minute lecture about the cycle. Journalist Tom Janssens interviewed Ralph for Belgian national newspaper ‘De Standaard’.
At present, Ralph is in France, for masterclasses at the École Normale de Musique in Paris, and consecutively two weeks as a jury member of the Orléans International Piano Competition, together with six other jury members from all over the world. In presence of widows of composer icons such as Mrs. Denisov and Mrs. Jolivet, and in presence of founder of the competition, Mrs. Françoise Thinat, he listened to 31 international candidates performing the broadest variety of 20th and 21st century composers. The competition was opened by the mayor of Orléans, and will close with the finals on Sunday, March 16.
Yesterday, a very positive review was written in newspaper De Volkskrant about Ralph’s performance, last Thursday night, in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam. He played Dutch first performances of unknown works by Debussy, Ravel and Messiaen, plus some works by Boulez. Quoting reviewer Bela Luttmer: ‘[Messiaen’s birds] tweeted under Van Raat’s virtuosic hands…What a fascinating, rich harvest.’
The first review on Ralph’s newest release on Naxos has been posted by reviewer Jan de Kruijff for the largest Dutch online database for classical music, Musicalifeiten. The very positive article uses superlatives! ‘Ralph seems to be the first who took on [The Rite of Spring in Leyetchkiss’ solo version) with amazing success, and who fulfills the high expectations. What a virtuoso he is. […] Both transcriptions are of the original sort, and are, from a quality point of view, and surely when it comes to the interpretations, a little miracle.’
Ralph’s newest CD on Naxos, with works by Debussy and Stravinsky, is featured in a three-page interview (by Marjolijn de Cocq) in the January/February issue of CD-magazine Luister.
January 26, Carnegie Hall has presented their new concert season, 2018-19, publicizing Ralph’s upcoming October recital there. Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant published an interview (by Pablo Cadenda) with Ralph because of this occasion, and additionally in the light of his September performance at the Philharmonie de Paris.
Ralph’s newest CD has been released: unique, seldomly performed nor recorded piano solo versions of Debussy’s famous orchestral work La Mer (arranged by his friend Lucien Garban), and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, transcribed by Vladimir Leyetchkiss! The CD is published by Naxos, with whom Ralph has a longstanding exclusive recording contract since already 15 years, and has catalogue number 8.573576. The CD is available through physical as well as through many online shops.
Ralph was invited to talk and play during one of Holland’s most popular talk shows Jinek, hosted by Eva Jinek, on January 11. Together with weather forecaster and polar researcher Dr. Peter Kuipers Munneke, he talked about their upcoming concert tour with music related to phenomena of the arctic regions, and played a few excerpts of this repertoire.