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Biography

Raimundo Penaforte is a Brazilian-American composer and multi-instrumentalist. His works have been featured at concerts in Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil and the United States at such venues as The Royal Concertgebouw, Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, Sala São Paulo, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and The White House.

Penaforte’s talents have earned him commissions to compose and arrange for acclaimed musicians, including Chee-Yun, Eroica Trio, Saint Lawrence String Quartet, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ), Mark Gould, Dorothy Papadakos, São Paulo Brass Quintet, Axiom Brass, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Os Paralamas do Sucesso, Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Empire City Men's Chorus, Alturas Duo, and João Kouyoumdjian, among others. Members of the New York Philharmonic premiered his The Tortoise and the Hare for chamber orchestra, narrator, and shadow theater with a text adaptation by NY Phil’s Dorian Rence. Valerius Ensemble has presented an all-Penaforte program at the Muziecentrum (Arkezaal) Enschede, and at the Rabotheater Hengelo in the Netherlands before recording Raimundo Penaforte: Between Sun and Snow, a CD released and distributed worldwide by Aliud Records.

Penaforte’s works have been recorded on Telarc, EMI/Classics, Denon Records, Angel, Infiné, Aliud, Pro Organo, Roméo Records, Con Brio Recordings, and Pomegranate Music. Penaforte also co-produced “Carambola,” a CD by Brazilian trumpeter Fernando Dissenha that features Penaforte’s Sweet New York and Carambola. Boosey & Hawkes and Hal-Leonard Corporation have published his concert arrangements entitled Suite From West Side Story for violin and piano.

As an instrumentalist, Penaforte has collaborated with notable musicians such as Latin star Rubén Blades, folk icon Richie Havens, jazz luminary Maynard Ferguson, klesmer clarinetist Giora Feidman, Brazilian pianist Dom Salvador, and Brasil Guitar Duo, among others. Penaforte is a member of 2Minds1Sound–a duo with Luxembourgish pianist Francesco Tristano–and has appeared with Out of Focus, New Gründ, and Aufgang Extended. He has toured Colombia with Afro-Cuban charanga band La Tipica Novel and has been featured at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing series.

As a composer, Penaforte has participated in music festivals in the United States, Brazil, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. He was the Artistic Director of the first Brazil-New York Jazz Festival at Town Hall, which featured Paquito D'Rivera, João Bôsco, Toninho Horta, John Patitucci, and Arthur Maia, among others.

Born in the city of Recife in Pernambuco, Brazil, Penaforte has studied at Hardin-Simmons University, New York University and The Juilliard School.

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