With a captivating presence on stage, Maestro Rafael Luz has pleased orchestra members and audiences alike driving energetic and powerful performances, leading to unique pleasurable experiences.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Rafael began his musical studies at the piano and later on the violin. At the beginning of his college year, Rafael participated in several community choirs, discovering at that time his passion for conducting. Rafael dedicated himself to teaching in different social programs, which brought music and musical instruments to people who wouldn’t have access otherwise, creating several string orchestras. Soon he was invited to run a Sistema-like program in the northeast of Brazil, transforming the cultural scene of the small town.

In 2008, during his studies in New York for his Master’s degree under the tutelage of Maurice Peress (Leonard Bernstein’s assistant at the NY Phil), Rafael served as assistant conductor to the New Britain Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with artists such as Peter Frankl and David Shifrin, as well as being responsible for the Children’s Concert,
an event presented to five thousand students. Rafael also served as Music Director for the Singers Development Club, Assistant Conductor for the Oratorio Society of Queens, and Assistant Conductor for the Queens College Symphony, being granted three awards, including the Discimus ut Serviamus Award, given in recognition of individual contribution to the improvement of the University’s Community.

Rafael moved to Toronto where in 2016 he was awarded his Doctoral Degree from the University of Toronto. During this time Rafael was an active participant at the Faculty of Music, serving as Assistant Conductor for the Opera Division. He was also responsible for the Music direction of Rob Ford: the Opera, which drew the attention of more than one thousand people in just one concert, as well as Opera Rara, a concert presenting short and unknown operas. Rafael also conducted orchestras around the province such as Thunder Bay, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Youth Orchestra and Etobicoke Philharmonic, amongst others. In 2017 he was invited to serve as Assistant Conductor for a co-production between the Canadian Opera Company, Against the Grain, and Banff Centre, in the performance of Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Outside of music-making, Rafael has developed a keen interest in music management and music development. He has worked with the National Ballet of Canada, and currently serves as Technical Revisor for EdUSP, one of Brazil’s largest university publishers. In the field of music education and development, Rafael returns yearly to Brazil where he serves as the pedagogical coordinator and conductor of the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho.

Maestro Luz first conducted the North York Concert Orchestra in September 2014, and was soon appointed Music Director and Conductor, a role that he is proud to have had since 2015.