Artist in Residence 2019: Raoul Steffani

The singer is "a stage personality with a solid technical foundation that seduces the audience and fascinates them with a musical story." Raoul is at the start of an international career ", according to the full jury.

Raoul Steffani is de winnaar van de GrachtenfestivalPrijs 2018. Foto: Juan Carlos Villaroel / Challenge Classics Int..

Artist in Residence

As Artist in Residence, young musicians are inspired to explore their versatility and present a showcase of their talent for the Grachtenfestival audience. The sky is their limit and they are free in anything they choose. In fact, we’re talking carte blanche, where all artistic dreams can come true.

At the upcoming Grachtenfestival, the GrachtenfestivalPrijs will be presented for the 12th time. Winning means being awarded the coveted prize of Artist in Residence at the festival.
The Grachtenfestival takes pride in these young musicians on the brink of a successful career to offering them a stage where they can represent the festival. It is also a great opportunity for people to become acquainted with such talented musicians.

About Raoul:

Baritone Raoul Steffani studied with Maarten Koningsberger and Xenia Meijer at the conservatories of Amsterdam and Tilburg and at the Musikuniversität in Vienna. He is currently being coached by Margreet Honig. He followed Masterclasses with Thomas Hampson, Elly Ameling, Christa Ludwig, Marjana Lipovšek and Nelly Miricioiu. Last season, Raoul won the Elisabeth Evert Prize and the Grachtenfestival Conservatorium Concours; a biennial prize for a young Dutch music talent of an exceptional level. In addition, he is supported by the VandenEnde Foundation. He was also laureate of the Liedacademie of the Heidelberger Frühling Festival.
As a prize winner of the Princess Christina Concours, he gave concerts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Calgary and Athens at the invitation of the Dutch embassies. In the coming season, Raoul will perform concerts with the Philharmonie zuidnederland, perform the bass arias in the St. Matthew Passion in the Concertgebouw and take on the baritone solo in the Carmina Burana with among others Lucas and Arthur Jussen in De Doelen Rotterdam.

Last season he could be heard twice in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam at the NTR ZaterdagMatinee 'Semyon Kotko' by Prokofjev by Vladimir Jurowsky and as Kammersänger in Richard Strauss' opera 'Intermezzo' with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, or David Zinman.
He previously worked with conductors such as Ed Spaniard, Sigiswald Kuijken, Anthony Hermus and Arjan Tien. He could also be heard at the Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, during the International Chamber Music Festival of Janine Jansen in Utrecht, the Grachtenfestival and the International Song Festival Zeist.

Raoul is also very active as a song performer and worked in that capacity with, among others, the German vocal pianist Gerold Huber and Daan Boertien. In 2018 he released his debut CD dedicated to Schumann, Grieg and Sibelius at Challenge Records International. In addition, Raoul has been a guest on several occasions in the television programs Podium Witteman, Podium on Tour and in De Tiende van Tijl, he was followed in the new TV format Talent Over Water of BravaNL and he can regularly be heard on Radio 4.

In addition, he sang solo parts in various oratories, including the St. Matthew Passion, Johannes-Passion by J.S. Bach, the Requiem of W.A. Mozart, Deutsches Requiem by Brahms, Oratorio de Noël by Saint-Säens, and The Messiah by Händel. Raoul Steffani is the ambassador of the International Song Festival Zeist.


Previous winners of the Grachtenfestival Prize:

Harpist Remy van Kesteren was the first musician honored with a residency in 2014. Remy van Kesteren: "I felt really privileged being awarded a Residency. I had a ball in 2014 as I was able to choose whatever I felt like; it is of great value that a leading institute such as Grachtenfestival offers musicians so much possibility for innovation, now and in the future."

Mezzo-soprano Rosanne van Sandwijk, who's Residency was in 2015: "My take on the Residency was a festival excelling in quantity and quality. All the concerts were magnificent, I met so many kind and talented musicians and I enjoyed every minute of the music, the pressure and the cozy atmosphere that define the Grachtenfestival!"

Violist Mathieu van Bellen in 2016: “I really enjoyed my Residency in 2016. Having visited many concerts myself the previous years I felt so privileged to be on various stages myself at the Grachtenfestival. Playing for the audience with my fellow musicians, who also became my friends, is an unforgettable experience.”

Pianist Sophiko Simsive in 2017: “My Residency at the Grachtenfestival was a real milestone in my career. Especially since it perfectly combines with my biggest ambition: sharing the music I love with the audience. Thanks to winning the GrachtenfestivalPrijs I was given every opportunity do so.”