Rafael A. Scarfullery

1969 -

Rafael Scarfullery, an award winning guitarist, composer, and conductor for over two decades, is regarded as one of the outstanding classical guitarists in the Dominican Republic. He has toured and played as a soloist internationally and was invited to perform in 2008 at the second Ibero-American Guitar Festival in honor of Alirio Diaz, an event that also featured Grammy award winner Sharon Isbin.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Scarfullery began his musical studies at the Patria Music Academy in San Pedro de Macoris. He later studied at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica of Santa Domingo before attending Brooklyn College, where he completed a B.Mus. He then completed an M.Mus. in music performance and an M.Mus. and a D.M.A. in orchestral conducting as well as a Church Music Certificate at Shenandoah University in Virginia.  He is also a Certified Music Practitioner in music therapy (Music for Healing and Transition Program-MHTP).

He taught at SU, the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, and the Conservatorio Vacional de Musica of Santa Domingo before accepting a position as an adjunct instructor of guitar at Sweet Briar College, a women’s school in Virginia, in 2007. He also serves as music director at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. His areas of teaching in the Dominican Republic schools included music theory and music appreciation.

Scarfullery has organized six international guitar festivals in his native country and frequently performs there. He has the distinction of being the first Dominican guitarist to perform Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez.

He has performed recitals in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Haiti, Turkey, Venezuela, and Canada in leading concert halls, including Carnegie Hall and the National Theater in the Dominican Republic, and has been featured on Christian television and radio programs. He has played in numerous Seventh-day Adventist churches throughout the U.S and at several SDA conventions and conferences.

Beginning in 1997, Scarfullery began winning recognition for his musical achievements in the Dominican Republic. He was feted as the best classical instrumental player of the year in 1998, winning an El Cassandra, a Dominican version of the Grammy award, the first guitarist ever to have that distinction.

He was proclaimed Outstanding Citizen of San Pedro de Macoris by its city council in 2000. The following year he won the Supreme Court Hymn Competition of the Dominican Republic and in 2002 was honored for his organization of cultural projects in San Pedro de Macoris. That same year he was chosen to receive the president's National Youth's Award in the area of cultural development.

Other achievements for Scarfullery have included being the top winner in the Bach-Handel Competition in Virginia in 2001 and winner of a hymn competition at the First Parish Church in Arlington, Massachusetts, in 2007. He was one of Jaycee's 72 Outstanding Youth of the Year in 2005.

Scarfullery has released several CDs: Herta's Garden (Guitar Music for Quiet Moments) and Sweet Hour of Prayer, both in 2006; Preludes 1-24 By Rafael Scarfullery, in 2012; and Five Suites by Rafael Scarfullery for Guitar, in 2013.  Although primarily a classical guitarist, he is adept at playing in other genres and styles, including popular, folk, Irish and Celtic, Spanish, Brazilian, and American jazz.  


Sources: email from Rafael Scarfullery, 9 June 2009; Rafael Scarfullery website biography; other online sources, 2009 and 2013.