Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones
- BM, Instituto Universitario de Estudios Musicales, Venezuela, (1996)
- MM, Michigan State University (1999)
- DMA, Michigan State University (2001)
Conductor Raphael Jiménez joined the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as associate professor of conducting and director of Oberlin orchestras in 2011. Born in Florida and raised in Venezuela, Jiménez began his musical life as a violinist. While he was a member of the Simón Bolívar National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, he was assigned his first conducting responsibility at the Venezuelan National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras (El Sistema). He was soon conducting all the professional orchestras in the country and was appointed Principal Conductor of the Caracas National Ballet at the age of 22, leading the orchestra in numerous performances of the most representative works of this genre including Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Firebird, Coppelia, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, and The Nutcracker, among many others.
He began his opera experience as assistant conductor at the Teresa Carreño Center for the Performing Arts and has since served as music director to productions of La Bohème, the Barber of Seville, La Traviata, Così fan tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, Florencia en el Amazonas, The Rake’s Progress, Don Giovanni, and The Tales of Hoffmann, to name a few.
Jiménez devotes great effort to the promotion of new music, especially of works by Latin American composers, and he has been recognized for his diverse and eclectic programming. He has had the privilege of premiering numerous works including the world premiere of and flowers pick themselves featured on the eponymous recording.
He enjoys a very active career, including frequent invitations to conduct symphonic concerts, ballets, and opera productions with critical acclaim. Recent appearances include performances in China with the orchestras of Zhejiang and Guanxi; in Latin America with the symphony orchestras of Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, and Puerto Rico; and leading the opera orchestras of Lubeck in Germany and Palm Beach in Florida. He has also conducted the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Caracas, Lansing Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony, and the Filene Center Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.