About Rafael Cortés


Rafael Cortés was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he began his piano studies. He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. His teachers have included Lillian Freundlich, Roland Keller, Germán Diez and Edna Golandsky. Cortés is a Fulbright Scholar who has concertized in Germany, Central and South America, Puerto Rico and New York, including at Merkin Hall with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles. He has given Master Classes in New York and Puerto Rico and has served as a judge in numerous piano competitions. (Click on the tabs in the upper navigation for more information.)

Cortés has been teaching piano in New York City since 1983, and for thirteen years  served as Chairman of the Piano Department at the Turtle Bay Music School in Midtown Manhattan. He currently teaches at the Lucy Moses School at the Kaufman Music Center, and maintains a full roster of private students that includes children and adults. His essays on music have been published in Clavier magazine; A Pianist, published in 2011, is his first book.  To read his interview in the New York Times about modern teaching methods, click here.

In 2014 Rafael launched a series of lectures and guided conversations on art, history and music, which he presents both in large lecture halls and to small, private groups. The events include prepared notes and timelines, an extensive slide show, and discussions led by Rafael on subjects like Music in Ancient Greece; Music in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds; and Ancient Egypt and Music in the 12th Century.  For more information, see the Lectures section.

Click here to listen to Rafael’s original composition “Improvisation on the High Line” and several other recordings.

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