The Egyptian conductor, Rafik Matta, studied piano with Herta Pappo, herself a student of the post-war concert pianist Gina Bachauer, and violin with Renato Borghese, at the Conservatory of Music. After having obtained his Engineering degree, he took up organ studies for two years, which led to several positions as organist and choirmaster in Sherbrooke, Vancouver and St. Lambert. During that time, he obtained a Master’s degree in Applied Sciences (Faculty of Engineering, Sherbrooke University) and a Diploma in Management (McGill University). He has since resumed the study of the violin with and furthered his interest in jazz performance.
Having given his first jazz performance with his trio in the Alexandria French Cultural Centre, Rafik Matta has been performing regularly since his arrival in Canada in the cities of Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal and has been responsible for the jazz program at the CAMMAC summer music camp for five consecutive years.
Rafik Matta’s interest in choral music dates back to his school years when he sang with the Choir of St. Mark’s College in Alexandria. At age 23, he took the reins of that group of sixty choristers for a performance of the Mass of St.Cecilia by Charles Gounod with the Alexandria Conservatory Orchestra. For many years, the Baroque period has been in the forefront of his classical music training. It is to serve this music that he founded the Telemann Ensemble, Montreal in 1992. Very active in the musical scene, he has served on several juries, including that for the OPUS prize of the Quebec Music Council.
Since 2010, Rafik Matta has been invited to conduct the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Chamber Orchestra and Choir on a yearly basis. In November 2014, he was awarded the Lambertois Merit Award by the City of St-Lambert for his contribution to the cultural scene.