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Mexico Tour with SiNEM

September 2012.

Rafael served as the Artistic Director of the national youth orchestra representing Costa Rica’s Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical (SiNEM), the Orquesta Sinfónica Manuel María Gutiérrez, from 2010 to 2012, culminating in a first ever international tour for this youth orchestra. Minister of Culture Manuel Obregon accompanied the orchestra as soloist performing works from his latest album “Piano Malango” to orchestral accompaniment. The orchestra began its tour with a sold-out performance in Costa Rica’s Teatro Nacional with President Laura Chinchilla and members of her government in attendance, and included performances in Mexico City’s prestigious Sala Nezahualcoyotl, and in beautiful venues in Puebla and in Chilpancingo. The orchestra worked with local youth orchestra students from the “Esperanza Azteca” youth orchestras, and had the opportunity to visit important archaeological sites such as Teotihuacan. Incorporating students from all regions of Costa Rica and working from a premise of high standards and expectations, Rafael’s contributions to the development of young musicians in Costa Rica has had a profound and lasting effect. He continues to collaborate with schools within the “Sistema” and with many of his students who are now studying in the conservatory, university, and internationally in the U.S. and in Europe.

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