Rafael Onyett started playing the guitar at the age of 8 in his hometown of Leeds, Yorkshire. His initial studies were on the electric guitar and by the age of the 13 Rafael had performed with a variety of bands in some of Leeds’ most famous venues including The Cockpit, the Brudenelle Social Club and the 02 Academy. Also at 13, a change of teacher introduced Rafael to the classical guitar and he spent the next five years honing his skills across a wide range of musical styles on both instruments. At 17 Rafael was a member of the Leeds Youth Jazz & Rock Orchestra. By the age of 18 Rafael had committed himself fully to the classical guitar becoming captivated by its repertoire and the challenges of the instrument.
In 2015 Rafael won a coveted place at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester studying with renowned teacher and performer Craig Ogden. During his time at college Rafael has performed in a variety of masterclasses with world-class guitarists including Zoran Dukic, Peter Katona, Julian Byzantine and Stephen Goss. Rafael is a highly sought after performer on the RNCM’s External Concerts list and has given performances as a soloist throughout the UK.
As an ensemble player, Rafael has received coaching from Aquarelle Guitar Quartet member, Rory Russell and has also studied with contemporary specialist Tom McKinney. With a love of chamber music, Rafael actively participates in numerous ensembles, currently being a member of a tango dance/music project that performs around Manchester, at venues such as the Instituto Cervantes.
Rafael is also a committed teacher with extensive experience teaching young children on classical and electric guitars and also teaching piano. Having worked with the One Education Music scheme as part of his undergraduate degree at the RNCM, Rafael gained further insightful experience of teaching large groups in a school setting.
Recently, Rafael Onyett won a highly coveted Postgraduate Award from Help Musicians UK to assist funding his Masters degree at the RNCM.