Rafael Skorka


Pianist Rafael Skorka in one of eight semifinalists in the ongoing Cleveland International Piano Contest.

Skorka is playing pieces by Leonard Bernstein, Kenneth Leighton and Johannes Brahms in the semifinal round of the Cleveland International Piano Competition at Gartner Auditorium in the Cleveland Museum of Art at 2 p.m. July 31.

Skorka was third-prize winner of the first International Music Competition Harbin China in 2018. He began learning the piano at the age of 8 with Svetlana Pachter at Karmiel Music Conservatory in Israel.

He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Jerusalem Academy of Music, where he studied with Asaf Zohar, and both a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying in the studio of Sergei Babayan. In 2018, upon graduating from CIM, Skorka won the Sergei Babayan Prize in Piano.

Skorka has appeared as soloist with orchestras in Israel, including the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, the Tel-Aviv Soloists Ensemble, the Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva and the Ashdod Symphony Orchestra.

He also has taken part in several music festivals, including the Steans Music Institute Program for Piano and Strings at the Ravinia Festival in 2009 and 2011 and the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland in 2012. Skorka has won competitions in Israel, including first prize in the Piano Forever Competition in Ashdod in 2009 and second prize in the Voice of Music Young Artists Competition in 2008. More recently, he received a special grant for outstanding performance in piano at the 2018 Aviv Competitions in Tel-Aviv. Between the years 2003 and 2014, Skorka was also granted several scholarships by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.

To purchase tickets for Skorka’s semifinal performance, contact 216-707-5397, visit pianocleveland.org or they can be purchased at the door.

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