Winner of numerous prizes including the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and the Parkhouse Award, violinist Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne was born in Lodz, Poland. He studied with Wen Zhou Li at the Yehudi Menuhin School and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and subsequently in Vienna with Gerhard Schulz.
As a soloist, Rafal has appeared with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonia, Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Northern Sinfonia. Further afield he performed with the KZN Philharmonic in Durban, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, Armenian Chamber Orchestra, Danubia Symphony in Budapest, Munich and Zurich Chamber Orchestras among others. He had the honour of working on several occasions with the late Lord Menuhin as conductor. In 2009 Rafal gave the Polish premiere of Hanna Kulenty's 2nd Violin Concerto with the Polish National Radio Symphony at the Warsaw Autumn Festival. He performed Khatchaturian's Violin Concerto for the composer's centenary celebrations with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and gave the British premiere of Alexander Arutunian's Violin Concerto, as well as performing the work at the composer's 85th Birthday Concert in Yerevan. Most recent engagements have included a tour with the Polish Youth Philharmonic, a recording of Zbigniew Baginski's Violin Concerto with the Polish National Radio Symphony as well as performances with the National Opera Orchestra and the State Youth Orchestra in Armenia.
In 2014 Rafal was appointed the 1st Concertmaster of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. In the years 2005-2014 he was the Solo Violinist/Leader of the Frankfurt-based contemporary music group Ensemble Modern, as part of which he performed in many of the world's prestigious venues and festivals. Numerous solo appearances with the Ensemble Modern have included Ferneyhough's Terrain at the Salzburg Festival, Berg's Chamber Concerto at the Schwetzingen SWR Festival and in the Alte Oper Frankfurt, and Milhaud's Concertino de Printemps at the Kurt Weill-Fest in Dessau. In demand as an orchestral leader, Rafal has worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, as well as with the Kammerakademie Potsdam, and the Philharmonic Orchestras in Strasbourg and Monte Carlo.
Rafal is a founding member of Dimension Piano Trio, winners of the 2005 Parkhouse Award. The trio has given many critically acclaimed concerts, and performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto with orchestras throughout Great Britain, Poland, Spain and Armenia.
Concert engagements have taken him to most countries throughout Europe as well as to the Middle East, Far East, North America and South Africa, performing in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall, Cadogan Hall, South Bank Centre, Bridgewater Hall in Machester, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, Rudolfinum in Prague, Salle Pleyel and Opera de Bastille in Paris, Konzerthaus and Philharmonie in Berlin, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Herkulessaal in Munich, Megaron in Athens, Teatro Monumental in Madrid and Warsaw Philharmonic.
On 27th January 2015, he had the honour to perform in front of over 300 survivors and dozens of heads of states, during the 70th anniversary commemoration of liberation of the German Nazi Concentration Camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The solemn ceremony was broadcast live on over 250 TV channels worldwide.