Raphaël Sévère


“Raphael Severe’s Clarinet wonders by clarity of sound, accuracy of breath and understanding of the text. Raphael Severe is already, despite his young age, but rightly considered as “the” French virtuoso of the twenty-first century.”
Resmusica – Jean-Luc Caron


“Sévère possesses a lovely tone that is remarkably even throughout the clarinet’s range, and a superb legato. He shapes a phrase lovingly and has impeccable intonation.”
Fanfare Magazine, Richard A. Kaplan

Discovered by the public at the ‘Victoires de la Musique 2010’ – French classical music awards – Raphael Severe currently ranks as the youngest representative of the French school of clarinet. His 1rst Price at the Tokyo Competition at the age of 12, and his nomination at the age of 15 in the category of ‘Instrumental soloist revelation’ highlighted an outstanding musical record. In the United States, Raphael won in 2013 the 1st Prize of the Young Concert Artists Competition in New York, as well as eight out of the ten Special Prices.

In concerto, Raphaël has performed remarked debuts with the Deutsches Sinfonieorchester/Aziz Shokhakimov at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Orchestra of St. Luke/ Michael Francis at the Alice Tully Hall in New York, the London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Michael Seal, the Konzerthausorchester at the Berlin Konzerthaus under Nathalie Stutzmann, the Hong-Kong Sinfonietta/ Yip Wing-sie, the Paris Chamber Orchestra/Rinaldo Alessandrini/Lars Vogt, the Bordeaux National Orchestra/Maxim Emelyanychev, the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse/Josep Pons, the Orchestre National de Lille/Karen Kamensek, the Orchestre National d’Ile de France Ainars Rubikis, the Sinfonia Varsovia, etc.

In recital and chamber music, Raphaël performs at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Kennedy Center in Washington, Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Gardner Museum in Boston and in Vancouver, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, KKL of Lucerne, Fondazione La Società dei Concerti di Milano, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele, French May in Hong-Kong, Festival International de Colmar, Menton Festival, Grand Théâtre d’Aix-en-Provence, Festival Musiques en été in Geneva…

A very fine chamber music partner, Raphaël Sévère shares the stage with the quartets Modigliani, Ebène, Prazák, Van Kuijk, the trios Wanderer and Messiaen, Martha Argerich, Boris Berezovsky, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, Gidon Kremer, David Grimal, Gérard Caussé, Antoine Tamestit, Gary Hoffman, Xavier Phillips, François Salque… He regularly performs with the pianist Adam Laloum and the cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière with whom he released an album dedicated to Brahms (Mirare), which received the « Diapason d’Or of the Year 2015 ».

Always attracted by the creation and himself a composer, in 2016 he created his first piece “Obscurs” for clarinet and guitar at Salle Cortot (Paris) with Antoine Morinière, published by L’empreinte mélodique. In 2019, he has composed “Seven Miniatures” for solo piano (creation in February 2019) and “Entre Chien et Loup” for solo guitar (creation in Vienna in summer 2019). In 2020, he has created his first concerto for clarinet and orchestra, commissioned by the Orchestre de Bretagne, and in 2023 the concerto “Phoenix” for clarinet, viola and orchestra commissioned by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

His recordings have been rewarded among others by Diapason (Diapason d’Or), Classica (Choc), Télérama (FFFF event). In 2017, Raphaël has released an album dedicated to Carl Maria von Weber’s first Clarinet Concerto recorded at the Berlin Philharmonic with the Deutsches Sinfonieorchester under the direction of Aziz Shokhakimov, with two works by the same composer with the pianist Jean-Frédéric Neuburger (Mirare).

Accomplice since always with the Trio Messiaen, they have released in 2018 an album devoted to the Quatuor pour la fin du temps by Olivier Messiaen, as well as to the Court Studies from the Tempest by Thomas Adès (Mirare).

Raphaël’s last recording is dedicated to Mozart – clarinet Concerto and clarinet Quintet – recorded with the Paris Chamber Orchestra under Lars Vogt, and with the Quatuor Modigliani (Mirare).


“Sévère’s tone was rounded and mellow, rich in the low chalumeau register and clarion bright at the top, without becoming harsh in the small hall.”
The Washington Post – 31 mars 2015