American cellist Raphael Bell enjoys a varied career as a principal cellist, chamber musician, teacher, and festival director. He is currently principal cello at the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra in Belgium, co-Artistic Director of La Loingtaine in Montigny-sur-Loing, France, co-founder of the Camerata Fontainebleau, and co-founder and co-Artistic Director of the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival.
As a chamber musician he has performed in Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Salle Gaveau, Berlin Philharmonie, Köln Philharmonie, Luzerner Theater, Tokyo Suntory Hall, and Kyoto Concert Hall. He was part of the IMS Prussia Cove tour that won the Chamber Music Award from the Royal Philharmonic Society in London, and has collaborated with musicians such as Steven Isserlis, James Ehnes, Martha Argerich, Maxim Vengerov, Ivry Gitlis, and with quartets including Brooklyn Rider, Dante and Orpheus, as well as Oxalys and Japan’s Nagaokakyo Ensemble. He gave the world premier of Olli Mustonen’s Triptych for three cellos with Steven Isserlis and Steven Doane.
Solo performances include concerts with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Luft Ensemble, and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic where he performed as a soloist with Edo de Waart as well as the Brahms Double Concerto on tour with conductor Philippe Herreweghe. As a member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, he played in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra’s Mahler Symphony Cycle with Claudio Abbado. He has also worked with the Munich Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Raphael studied at The Juilliard School with Harvey Shapiro, and later with Mario Brunello, Steven Isserlis and Ferenc Rados.