Rafael Bonavita is internationally recognized within the realm of old music as one of the most solid and versatile values in the plucked instrument field. Having studied in such diverse countries as Uruguay, Canada or Switzerland, he has been keen to absorb and bring the most diverse styles and tendencies into his learning, making this one of the key factors in his career. Being a strict player of historical philology, Bonavita is, nevertheless, an innovator in new ways of expression, heterodoxical yet at the same time a close translator of the potential within the oldest string instruments.
His start in classical guitar took place under the Maestro Alvaro Pierri, furthering his studies in old instruments with Hopkinson Smith at the Schola Cantorum Basilensis, where he obtained his Diploma in lute renaissance and baroque, Theorbo, vihuela and baroque guitar.
He carried out an intense concert and pedagogical activity in Europe, Asia and America, collaborating frequently with directors such as Jordi Savall, Rene Jacobs, Marc Minkowski or Gabriel Garrido, as well as being a full time member of the Japanese ensemble “Anthonello”.
As a complement and enrichment to his main work, Bonavita has often touched on out of the usual repertories, such as medieval music, contemporary or audiovisual music. Aside from his radio and television appearances in different countries, he has recorded for the following companies: BIS (Sweden), Harmonia Mundi and K 617 (France), Pan Classics (Switzerland), Cookie & Bear (Japan), Enchiriadis and Alia Vox (Spain), Symphonia and Tactus (Italy) among others. The specialized media have highly recognized his work.
As a soloist, he has recorded “Principe delle Muse” for the label Enchiradis. Devoted to Angelo Michele Bartolotti’s sophisticated music for baroque guitar, the album has been highly praised by the critics as well as by the audience. His second work “Sanz-Murcia, Danzas para guitarra barroca” – also for Enrichiradis – is focused on the popular and extrovert roots of the Spanish baroque. Thanks to its new approach to this fascinating repertoire, it was likewise enthusiastically received by the media. In 2007 his particular and innovative view of the world of the theorbo came to light in the disc “Música Moderna”, committed to approach the present audience to the innovations and ruptures in the early Italian 17th century. Bonavita’s new CD “Al Compás de la Vihuela” consists of renewed versions of the 16th century vihuela players as well as his own compositions. In 2010 comes out, with the music of the genial german composer and the expresive strength of the baroque lute, his new projet: “Bach-Bonavita”. In 2013, he released the CD “El Sarao de la Chacona” leading the group Nuevo Sarao. This is the first comprehensive recording of the Second Songbook by Joan Araniés.
“…strings that vibrated in the past, the poetry in their echoes, should have never ceased to sound. My wish is to be a continuator, an extender…of their magic”