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Paul Rafanelli

Artist in Residence, Bassoon
Paul Rafanelli, Bassoon


A member of the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera Orchestra since 1992, bassoonist Paul Rafanelli has performed frequently on the orchestra’s Chamber Music Series; he has also performed with the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival and Seattle Chamber Players. Before joining the Seattle Symphony in 1992, Mr. Rafanelli was a member of the Charleston (SC) Symphony Orchestra, and played at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Italy and the Spoleto Festival USA.

For over a decade Mr. Rafanelli has served on the Board of Directors of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras (he is also an Alumnus from the 1980’s) and is a strong proponent of Arts in education. For 16 years he served on the faculty of the University of Puget Sound, where he was the Affiliate Artist in bassoon. In October of 2021 he joined the faculty of the University of Washington as Artist in Residence.

Mr. Rafanelli was born in Seattle in 1963 and received his training at the University of Washington, Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School. He is fluent in Italian and also speaks some German. His bassoon was custom made by the Wilhelm Heckel Co. in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1986.