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Raphaela Lacerda

Recipient of the esteemed 2023 Emerging Professional Award by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, Raphaela Lacerda is an accomplished and engaging orchestra conductor with a deep passion for music that resonates across borders, delighting audiences worldwide.

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Maestra Lacerda's journey in the world of classical music has been marked by remarkable achievements. Her experience includes conducting renowned orchestras in Brazil and the United States, such as the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra (OFMG), São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra (OSESP), São Paulo State Youth Orchestra (OJESP), Santo André Symphony Orchestra (OSSA), and the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra (SBSO). 

She serves as the Orchestra Director of the World Music Symphony Orchestra at Azusa Conservatory of Music and holds the position of Assistant Conductor for both the Diamond Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Musicians at Play Foundation, where she passionately guides aspiring young talents. Furthermore, she serves as the Associate Conductor of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, contributing to its artistic vision and musical excellence. Anne Viricel, Executive Director of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, commended her

work, saying, "In December of 2022, she guest conducted a performance of Bizet’s Farandole from L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2 to significant community acclaim. We even received phone calls from community members and local music teachers asking when she would be back on the podium!"


Throughout her career, Raphaela Lacerda has pursued opportunities to broaden her musical horizons, participating in courses and masterclasses led by distinguished conductors such as Marin Alsop, Stefan Blunier, Cristian Macelaru, Giancarlo Guerrero, Robert Treviño, Neil Thomson, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Sarah Ioannides, and Daisuke Soga, among others. Her commitment to continuous learning and growth is evident in her artistic approach.


In 2022, Ms. Lacerda collaborated closely with the three-time Grammy-nominated American composer Miguel Del Aguila, conducting his captivating work "Toccata." Del Aguila himself praised her performance, noting, "The performance was very energetic as she managed to keep the rhythmic and dramatic tension of the work forward. Her interpretation was personal and showed an unusual awareness of the overall architecture of the work. (...) She has that rare quality among conductors of getting a big sound and a dramatic response from the orchestra with spare but accurate and effective movements and directions."


Recently, in Spring 2023, Raphaela Lacerda achieved another milestone in her musical journey by earning her Master's degree in Instrumental Conducting from Azusa Pacific University, under the guidance of Professor Christopher Russell. Her dedication and exceptional academic achievements were further acknowledged through her receipt of the prestigious 2023 Dennis Royse Graduate Achievement and Academic Excellence Award from Azusa Pacific University.

As a testament to her rising prominence in the orchestral world, Maestra Lacerda was selected as the recipient of the 2023 Emerging Professional Award by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras. This prestigious accolade recognizes her exceptional talent, dedication, and contributions to the field of classical music. 

Raphaela Lacerda's unwavering commitment to her craft, her ability to create captivating musical experiences, and her passion for mentoring the next generation of musicians establish her as a prominent figure in the world of orchestral conducting. Her engaging presence on the podium continues to leave a lasting impression on audiences worldwide, ensuring her impact as an inspiring conductor for years to come.

Raphaela Lacerda
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