J. Patrick Rafferty
Applied Music Studies, Strings - Violin
Violinist J. Patrick Rafferty has been hailed for his "exciting performances", his "subtle and imaginative ideas about the music", and "a velvety, sweetly sonorous tone [that] captured the intellect and calmed the soul." (Milwaukee Sentinel) Rafferty's solo credits include concerto performances with the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, Dallas, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. In addition, he as appeared as soloist with the Dallas Bach Orchestra, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, the Dallas Fine Arts Orchestra (with whom he performed the Texas premiere of Richard Strauss' Violin Concerto), the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and many others, with over 40 works performed.
J. Patrick Rafferty served as Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra from 1986 to 1991. He previously served as Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony for eight years, and as Concertmaster for the Dallas Bach and Fine Arts Orchestras. He has also served as acting concertmaster of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, guest concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony, and as concertmaster of the Brevard Music Center Orchestra. He has also held positions with the St. Louis Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony. As recitalist, Rafferty has performed in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Cincinnati, Atlanta, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, and many other cities.
An accomplished chamber music performer as well as an acclaimed solo and orchestral artist, violinist J. Patrick Rafferty joined the internationally acclaimed Louisville String Quartet in 2005 as first violinist. He also maintains commitments with the Cadek Trio, whom he joined in 1991. His national reputation as an outstanding chamber musician has been built on his association with such ensembles as the New Marlboro Chamber Players, the American Chamber Trio, the Fine Arts Chamber Players, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, and the Walden Chamber Players. Of the Cadek Trio’s recent east coast tour, the New York Concert Review wrote “one could pay the Cadeks a high complement by saying that their [playing] compared favorably with that of [the legendary trio of] David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Knushevitzky, and Lev Oborin.”
In 1987, Rafferty founded the Paganini Trio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
and then in 1990, formed the Stradivari Trio in the same city. Both
ensembles recorded exclusively for the Koss Classics label. Typical of
the critical response to these ensembles was the following from the
Milwaukee Journal: "a spectacular inaugural season...Word of mouth from
ecstatic audiences and favorable reviews from every quarter have filled
the place; the trio had to add a performance of each program to get
While maintaining his active performance schedule, Rafferty has successfully built a respected teaching career. One of his specialties is teaching orchestral audition repertoire, drawing on his background as audition winner for 15 major US orchestras. His students have been placed in many major US and European orchestras, and in many respected teaching positions. He has taught at the Wisconsin Conservatory, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Alabama, and is now Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Louisville. He is also on the summer artist faculty of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, where he is concertmaster of the Brevard Music Center Orchestra.
J. Patrick Rafferty MP3 Recordings
J. S. Bach: Partita no. 3 in E Major, Preludio
Samuel Barber: Adagio, from the String Quartet
Caesar Franck: Sonata in A minor, second movement
Eugene Ysaye: Sonata no. 3, "Ballade"
J. Patrick Rafferty Press Notices
produced a full bright singing tone, even during the lyrical but
demanding first movement cadenza and the flying finale...a magnificent
performance of the Tchaikovsky Concerto.”
The Milwaukee Sentinel
was at its finest from soloist and orchestra, and conductor/soloist
Rafferty and his musicians brought out the clear, cold picture and
bone-chilling effect of Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’...”
The News and Courier
J. Patrick Rafferty deserves special praise for his sublime rendition
of the solo in the in the [Bach] Concerto in A minor...I honestly
cannot recall having heard this familiar work done quite so well, with
so lively and compelling an approach to Bach’s music...one of the high
points of the musical year.”
The Dallas Observer
right-on-target performance of this 250-year-old masterpiece [Vivaldi’s
Four Seasons]...unfailingly intense...a smooth-flowing reading that
gave full play to all aspects of the work, including its extramusical
pictorialism, its purely musical fulfillment of the Baroque concerto
form and the virtuosity contained in the violin solo.”
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Rafferty immediately impressed with a very warm, at times lush, tone
quality, rich and beautifully controlled, and a very handsome
technique...Clean, rich in tone, beautifully phrased and
projected...the Debussy was given a very sensual tone, and the three
last pieces by Dvorak and Sarasate in the knuckle-buster category were
played with impeccable taste.”
The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)
“Fresh thinking...without prejudice or fear...a rarely heard rhythmic freedom and buoyancy.”
San Antonio Express-News
and very satisfying...committed and impassioned playing of a strongly
lyrical cast...often quite touching...exuberant and
Dallas Times Herald
Mr. Rafferty played the evening’s concerto honorably...with involvement and affection...a handsome performance.”
The Dallas Morning News
hear his music played by fingers muscled with practice and talent is a
true treat, and Rafferty laced the patrons with song as sweet as
caramel. When he bowed for an encore most graciously given, I wondered
if he knew if the last chords would be celebrated in our dreams.”
J. Patrick Rafferty Former Students’ Comments
"As a teacher, Mr. Rafferty has an outstanding reputation. His
experience, professionalism, and dedication have attracted to the
University of Alabama many students from around the world. One of the
most impressive characteristics of his teaching is his unique talent to
communicate with his students, both younger inexperienced students and
graduate performance majors. Very conscientious and professional in all
he does, he is always very well prepared and easy to work with. His
dedication and musicianship constitute a continuous source of
inspiration for all his students. While I was enrolled at UA, he taught
me the most important principles of orchestral playing. The experience
I gained while studying with him greatly helps me in my career."
Daniel Szasz, Concertmaster, Alabama Symphony
I had to say one thing I learned from Mr. Rafferty that has
significantly changed my [performing] life, it would be that he taught
me the importance of efficient preparation. His ability to precisely
identify my problems and recommend the solution that would most quickly
affect a change is remarkable."
Catherine Lynn, Atlanta Symphony
my studies with him, I experienced both his teaching abilities, as well
as many of his musical performances. Recalling all that I gained, one
word comes to mind when thinking of Patrick Rafferty, consistency. As a
greatly skilled artist, Mr. Rafferty consistently offers the best
technical approach to playing the violin, guiding his students
musically; however, allowing them to express themselves independently.
And yet he also hase the ability to consistently coach in such a
positive and encouraging way that instills confidence in his students."
Hilarie Harp Rivas, former Concertmaster, Huntsville Symphony
the years I spent studying with Patrick Rafferty, I found him to be a
wonderfully supportive and articulate teacher, as well as a
sophisticated musician and performer. He truly plays for the sake of
the music, which is something I say about few musicians. During my
studies with him, I learned much more than how to play a certain phrase
in the particular piece I'd be working on. I learned analytical
processes and the techniques to support them. I learned concepts that
have been applicable to everything I've since played. I will always
appreciate Patrick Rafferty's expectations of myself. I never sensed
that he thought I wasn't good enough to execute any material. It was
just expected that I would do what I had to, and he always made sure
that I knew exactly how to practice the material at hand. This
mentorship was valuable beyond description. Mr. Rafferty's support was
a highly motivating factor to me as a student, and still is today in my
professional life. He always took the time to schedule extra classes
and lessons whenever we students needed them, even when he didn't have
a lot of time to spare...[I] learned more than how to play the violin
[from him]. [I] learned the practical side of being a violinist--how to
look for jobs, how to take auditions, what to expect on the job. The
time I spent as a student of Patrick Rafferty's was some of my most
well-spent time. I will always be grateful for the things I gained from
studying with him, watching him perform, working with him, and knowing
him as an incredibly trustworthy and kind person."
Heather Trussell, Memphis Symphony
Rafferty is a very well-rounded teacher. He is both technician and
musician. He knows how to teach students technique in a way which
facilitates the music rather than interfering with it. Mr. Rafferty is
extremely demanding yet patient and encouraging. He has a keen sense
of each student's capabilities, and is able to get students to reach
their fullest potential. Mr Rafferty also has innovative and useful
ideas for practicing. Even on days I did not feel like practicing, it
was these ideas that made practicing interesting. In addition, Mr.
Rafferty has wonderful musical ideas. He has a talent for making even
the mont obscure phrase clear. He is extremely knowledgeable in all
genres and styles. Mr. Rafferty is generous with his time, and is more
that willing to share his knowledge and experience with his students."
Amy Spangenberg, Cincinnati Symphony; former Concertmaster, Chicago Civic Orchestra
has been my privilege over the last several years to experience Mr.
Rafferty's teaching and violin playing both as concertmaster and
soloist. I have on many occasions driven [from Nashville] to Tuscaloosa
to have lessons in orchestral as well as solo literature. Even though I
am an experienced orchestral player, I have gained very much not only
from his knowledge of the technical aspects of playing the orchestral
literature but also from his musical insight into the different styles
of the various composers and his ability to communicate it. He
intersperses hes thorough teaching technique with a very good sense of
humor. He also possesses an extensive understanding of the Baroque
style of playing."
Isabel Bartles, Nashville Symphony and Vanderbilt University faculty
Rafferty has not only taught many fine players at the University of
Alabama but has coached me over the last three years. During this time,
I have gained an immeasurable amount of help from Mr. Rafferty's
teaching. His analytical bend of mind allows him to transfer his
excellent abilities as a musician and a player to the student. His
friendly, relaxed personality is perfectly suited for teaching."
Jeffrey Z. Flaniken, Samford University faculty
my education at the University of Alabama under the diligent guidance
of Mr. J. Patrick Rafferty, I would not be the musician I am today. For
five and a half years I was one of his students at UA. I learned not
only from his private lessons, but as a colleague in all of the
community orchestras that the students and faculty participated in. As
a current member of the New World Symphony, I understand now how lucky
I was to have a teacher that introduced the careful preparation of
orchestral excerpts so early. I highly recommend studying with Mr.
Rafferty as he is a wonderful professor and an incredible musician!!"
Jennifer Puckett, New World Symphony Orchestra
Rafferty] is a wonderful model player. As a student, I was privileged
to hear and see him play as concertmaster, recitalist, and concerto
soloist. He displayed a mastery of all genres of music. He is the rare
kind of virtuoso who can teach all the aspects of the art of playing.
He has spent time focusing on the craft of teaching itself. So,
students learning three-octave scales and beginning etudes receive the
same focused, effective tutelage as those who are playing Paganini and
Brahms. He is the right teacher for violinists who want to go to the
next level. I recommend him to any violinist who is serious about
pushing toward their potential.
Neal Shaffer, Assistant Principal 2nd Violin, Memphis Symphony Orchestra
J. Patrick Rafferty Musicians” Comments
I have found [Patrick Rafferty] to be a fine musician and an accomplished violinist...a man [of] honor and integrity."
Aaron Rosand, world-renowned violin soloist
have had the pleasure of performing with Patrick Rafferty in the recent
past, and he is in my opinion a very fine artist. He is also extremely
well-respected as a teacher."
Roberto Diaz, Principal Viola, Philadelphia Orchestra
the six years as stand partners with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, I
always admired Patrick Rafferty as an exceptional orchestra player and
terrific colleague. Pat and I also performed together in many chamber
music events in the Dallas area, and his commitment to excellence was
highly admired...He was well-respected by his colleagues for his
musicianship and his friendly personality."
Eliot Chapo, former Concertmaster, NY Philharmonic/Dallas Symphony
"I consider Mr. Rafferty a colleague on the highest professional level: gifted, prepared, confident of his interpretive powers."
Louis Lane, conductor, formerly with Cleveland, Dallas, Atlanta Symphonies
Rafferty is a remarkable musician, serious, professional, and very
committed to his art. I have observed and enjoyed his work as Associate
Concertmaster with the Dallas Symphony during my tenure as Music
Director of that orchestra. Mr. Rafferty was always supportive,
understanding, and impeccably efficient in that position at the Dallas
Eduardo Mata, conductor, former Music Director, Dallas Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor, London Symphony
the years, his consistency of artistry and knowledge of all styles of
music has been outstanding. He is not only a first-class leader as
well, but a tremendous pedagogue. In my capacity as both the music
Director of the Charleston Symphony and Chief Conductor of the
Staatstheatre am Gaertnerplatz in Munich, I have known many wonderful
musicians. Patrick Rafferty is a world-class musician, violinist and
leader of colleagues. He is an inspiration to all he works with and a
wonderful role model to his younger colleagues."
David Stahl, Music Director, Charleston Symphony and Chief Conductor, Staatstheatre am Gartnerplatz of Munich (Germany)
very gifted musician had made an extremely strong contribution to the
Brevard Music Center Festival long before I was appointed Artistic
Director. During my tenure, I have reaped the benefits of Mr.
Rafferty's experience. He is a first-rate concertmaster, able to serve
most effectively as a liaison between players and conductor. He
exhibits strong leadership skills violinistically and musically."
David Effron, Artistic Director, Brevard Music Center and Director of Orchestras, Indiana University
has interestingly varied experience as a teacher and certainly brings a
broad background of knowledge to his studio. [As a violinist] he
performs at an extremely high level."
Marilyn McDonald, violin professor, Oberlin Conservatory
is a violinist of the highest rank with remarkable control of
intonation, phrasing, tonal nuances and has wonderful musical
instincts. But above all, it is the spirit of his music performance
which is so very special. There is a delight present which brings much
satisfaction to the listener."
Paul Makara, Professor of Violin Emeritus, Bowling Green State University
tone, technical command and musicality are at the highest professional
level as is the respect he rightly deserves by his colleagues in the
musical world. A few years ago, I sent one of my graduating violin
students to him in pursuit of an MM. He had nothing but praise for
Professor Rafferty's teaching, insights and guidance. I would never
hesitate to send more students to him."
Peter McHugh, Distinguished Professor of Violin, University of Louisville, retired
a musician and a violinist, Professor Rafferty's artistry is
unsurpassed. He is an excellent concertmaster, a very sensitive chamber
player, and a dazzling soloist. As a teacher, his students are
obviously well taught. The experiences of playing concertmaster of
major symphony orchestras and the experiences of years of playing
chamber music professionally enable Mr. Rafferty to be a terrific
Daniel Swaim, Professor of Double-Bass, Arizona State University