Chances are many of you had not heard of French guitarist Raphaël Feuillâtre before his perhaps surprising but richly deserved Grand Prize win at the 2018 Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition in Louisville, Kentucky. He certainly made me a believer at that GFA—and, of course, he will be on hand at this year’s GFA convention in Miami in June.
Here is a video that the good folks at Siccas Guitars posted in December 2018, featuring Raphaël in a splendid performance of the first movement—dubbed ‘Sinfonia’—of Bach’s Partita No. 2 for keyboard, BWV 826, long popular with classical pianists. This wonderful solo guitar version was arranged by fellow Frenchman Tristan Manoukian, who is a popular guitarist himself, as well as one the country’s leading guitar teachers. His arrangement of the piece (as well as many others Manoukian has done) is available from Les Productions d’Oz, and Raphaël’s recorded version appears on his 2018 Guitar Recitalalbum. In the video, he plays a 1931 Santos Hernandez guitar.
Raphaël Feuillâtre’s new, post-GFA album, in Naxos’ Laureate Series, will be out in June 2019. —Blair Jackson