Strings | Violin 1
Raphael Espada started learning the violin under Mr. Ernesto Isagan’s “Musika Sentra” studio in Tacloban City, Leyte. In 2010 he was accepted as a scholar at the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) in Mt. Makiling and was placed under the tutelage of Mr. Jeffrey Solares. He made rapid progress and was able to play Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto at his high school graduation recital. He proceeded to take a Bachelor of Music, Major in Violin Performance at the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music under a scholarship and continued studying violin under Mr. Jeffrey Solares until his graduation in 2020. For his college graduation recital he performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) conducted by MSO Music Director Marlon Chen.
Raffy was a finalist at the 2015 National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and was part of the award-winning Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra (MSJO) during their European Concert Tours in 2017 and 2018 where he performed with the ensemble in the various concert halls and venues in Vienna, Prague, Salzburg, Munich, Florence and Rome. He has been a first violinist of the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) since 2015 and has been featured as soloist in some of their concerts. He was also with the MSO during their first international concert tour in Shenyang City, People’s Republic of China in 2019. He also regularly plays as one of the violinists of the Manila String Machine.
Raffy continues to take violin lessons at present under the guidance of MSO Concertmaster Diomedes Saraza Jr.