Hailed by the major Boston and New York press as "imaginative and eloquent," praised for his "dazzling dispatch of every bravura challenge" and his "melodic phrasing of melting tenderness," cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer maintains an active and diverse career as chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral section leader. Imprimis, Mr. Popper-Keizer has appeared nationwide in various capacities, including performances in the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts, John Harbison's Token Creek Festival in Wisconsin, and the Monadnock Chamber Music Festival in New Hampshire. Locally, Mr. Popper-Keizer has enjoyed guest affiliations with the Fromm Players at Harvard, Winsor Chamber Players, Boston Musica Viva, and the Walden Chamber Players, as well as long-term relationships with Boston's Emmanuel Music and Firebird New Music Ensemble. Mr. Popper-Keizer has concertized with many of New England's most esteemed chamber musicians, including members of the Borromeo and Muir String Quartets, the Museum of Fine Arts Trio, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; as well as recent appearances with the Boston Trio, violinist Curtis Macomber, and flautist Eugenia Zuckerman.
Mr. Popper-Keizer has toured extensively with the CORE Ensemble, a nationally acclaimed percussion trio with over twenty commissions to its name, through which he was invited to appear as both soloist and chamber musician in the contemporary music festival "Contrasts" in Lviv, Ukraine. In 1998 and 1999, Mr. Popper-Keizer was invited to the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he acted as Yo-Yo Ma's understudy for Richard Strauss' Don Quixote under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. Mr. Popper-Keizer has been featured as a soloist throughout the United States, including recitals in New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall; the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; and as a guest artist on the faculty concert series at Grinnell College. Recent engagements include the Saint-Saëns Concerto in A minor, with the Boston Philharmonic; the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Indian Hill Symphony; and the Dvorak Concerto, with the University of Santa Cruz Orchestra. Mr. Popper-Keizer is the principal cellist of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and co-principal of the New Hampshire Symphony, and has made principal appearances with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the Monadnock Festival Orchestra, among others. Labels for which he has recorded include Albany, Arsis, Helicon, Musical Heritage Society, Intrada, and Zimbel.