Dr. Alberto Ràfols retired in 2009 after a long career as a pianist, music professor, and arts administrator. Born in Cuba of Catalan, Castilian, and Cuban ancestry, he resides in Portland, Oregon. Ràfols holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A., 1975) from the University of Washington, where he studied with Bela Siki. Prior to his doctoral studies, he was awarded a Fulbright grant (1970-1972) for study in Barcelona with the late Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha. Before his post-graduate studies in Spain, Ràfols studied with Howard Karp and Claire Richards at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Throughout his career as a pianist and pedagogue, Dr. Ràfols held academic positions at the University of Illinois, University of Washington, and University of Texas. He performed extensively in the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe.
Title by Alberto P. Ràfols
Paquita and Alberto, My Catalan Grandparents
Illuminating Family is a deeply researched and highly personal memoir. The narrative provides insights into intimate family history and on the political and social milieu of the world in which the author’s paternal family lived. Set during the last half of the nineteenth century and most of the twentieth century in Catalunya, Cuba, and ultimately the United States, Illuminating Family is more than a family document, recounting the uncovering of nagging family riddles. It describes how individual family members reacted to adversity, immigration, success, identity, and politics. Ultimately, it’s an immigration story, offering understanding of a rich and complex issue.