Rafael Reina was born in Equatorial Guinea, West Africa in 1961, moving to Madrid at the age of seven. He graduated with summa cum laude in composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA.
Returning to Spain, he composed a lot of music for dance, including a piece featuring Marco Berriel and Joaquin Cortes for the 1992 Expo in Sevilla.
From 1993, when he moved to Amsterdam, Reina spent long periods in South India studying the theory of Karnatic music with Jahnavi Jayaprakash and N.G. Ravi. These studies led to the creation of the programme Contemporary Music Through Non-Western Techniques at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.
In 2004, Reina wrote part of the collective opera 1714 Mon de Guerres a co-production of Festival de Peralada and Barcelona Forum 2004.
Reina is currently working on an opera to be co-produced by the Axyz Ensemble (Amsterdam) and ‘Theater Rampe’ (Stuttgart) around the figure of Herman Hesse and the influence of Indian philosophy on his life and writings. The opera HesseIndia will be premiered in 2007 in Vienna and follows on from an earlier co-production with the Interval Chamber Amsterdam and Healing Theatre Cologne, in which Reina composed the opera, Wölfli – a journey into chaos, directed by Petra Weimer, now working with the Theater Rampe.
Reina’s extensive oeuvre of ensemble pieces has been performed all over Europe, the US,Taiwan and India. He is co-founder of the Axyz Ensemble.
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