Violinist Rafael Rishik was born in New York City and started the violin at age 4. At age six he was one of the youngest students ever accepted to the Juilliard School of Music. During the next 12 years of study in New York, Mr. Rishik also attended the famed Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art. Upon graduation he continued his studies at Indiana University at Bloomington, completing his graduate studies at U.C. Santa Barbara as the first violinist of the Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence. While at U.C.-Santa Barbara, Mr. Rishik had the rare privilege of performing the Chausson Poeme in master class for the great Yehudi Menuhin. Mr. Rishik’s principal teachers have been Stuart Canin, Ramy Shevelov, Zinaida Gilels, Christine Dethier and Sally Thomas.
“Compelling Artistry…” is how the Jerusalem Post described Mr. Rishik’s violin playing. He has participated in numerous festivals, including the Israel Chamber Music Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, The Music Academy of the West and most recently The International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico. Chamber Music has always been a big part of Mr. Rishik’s musical life. He spent several years performing with the Camerata Pacifica, and is a founding member of the New Hollywood String Quartet. In the summer of 2019 the NHSQ, Quartet in Residence at the Restoration Concert Series launched their inaugural summer festival entitled “Summer of Brahms Chamber Music Festival”. To incredible critical acclaim and capacity audiences the NHSQ presented all twenty-five of the instrumental chamber works of Johannes Brahms in collaboration with some of the world’s most renowned chamber musicians. In December of 2021 the NHSQ presented the Vienna Holiday Concerts at Rothenberg Hall at the Huntington Library. The works of Mozart and Schubert were celebrated over a series of three consecutive concerts. Josef Woodward of the San Francisco Classical Voice wrote: ”At the Huntington, the group exuded a refined and luminous ensemble presence in keeping with its growing reputation, 20 years into its history”.
The NHSQ was recently featured on Gernot Wolfgang’s Grammy nominated CD “Passing Through” performing his critically acclaimed string quartet “String Theory”. Mr. Rishik has played on hundreds of Film Scores, and continues to be actively involved with the Motion Picture Recording Industry in Los Angeles. He performs on a Joseph Rocca violin made in Turin, Italy 1863.