Pianist and musicologist Ralph van Raat studied the piano with Ton Hartsuiker and Willem Brons at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. He also also studied with Claude Helffer (Paris), Liisa Pohjola (Helsinki), Ursula Oppens at Chicago’s Northwestern University and Pierre-Laurent Aimard at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. Van Raat also studied Musicology at the University of Amsterdam; he concluded both studies with distinction.
He has won multiple prizes such as the First Prize of the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition, the VSCD Classical Music Prize, the Philip Morris Arts Award, Prijs Klassiek of the Dutch national radio- and tv broadcaster NTR and the Fortis MeesPierson Award of the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
Being a strong advocate for especially contemporary music, Ralph has worked closely with many composers from John Adams to Arvo Pärt, several of them dedicating their works to Van Raat. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, China National Symphony Orchestra, and London Sinfonietta, and he worked with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, David Robertson, Tan Dun and Peter Eötvös. He is often seen and heard in radio and television programs about classical music. Ralph van Raat has been a Steinway Artist since 2003. Since 2006, Van Raat has an exclusive contract with Naxos.
Ralph van Raat also teaches contemporary piano music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.