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Racine, Julio

Born in Haiti on February 4, 1945, Julio Racine began his studies in solfeggio and flute at the age of 12. At 15, he entered the National Conservatory where he studied flute with Depestre Salnave and piano with Solon Verrett who were among the greatest haitian musicians at the time.

In 1970, he was awarded a scholarship to continue his studies at the School of Music at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. There, he studied flute with Francis Fuge, principal flautist for Louisville Orchestra and composition with Nelson Keyes, composer and professor of music. Graduating in 1974, he returned to Haiti where he was appointed flute professor and conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Holy Trinity Music School. With his wife Nina Ralph, a violinist and music teacher, he had 3 children. In 1984, he went on tour in several American cities with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Sainte-Trinité.

In 2000, due to health reasons, Julio Racine left his position and settled in Louisville, Kentucky, where he lived with his family.

In February 2006, he was invited to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) (School of the Arts) as composer-in-residence. On this occasion, the VCU orchestra gave the world premiere of his suite "Regards" under the direction of Haitian conductor Jean Montès.

In 2009, soprano Karine Margron sought his expertise and experience as a composer to collaborate on her project to safeguard and publish the repertoire of Haitian songs. Quickly, he became Musical Director of the project named "Chansons d’Haïti". With motivation and professional rigor, he collaborated on the publication of a collection of 11 music books containing 156 Haitian songs arranged for voice and chords, many of them arranged for voice and piano, and others for voice and orchestra.

In 2010, Julio Racine was invited to participate in the 16th Latin American Music Festival in Caracas, Venezuela. For the occasion, he wrote a Concertino for clarinet for virtuoso clarinetist Jorge Montilla. The work was highly acclaimed at the CASPM festival on Sunday, May 23. (Centro de Acción Social por la Música).

In 2011, Julio composed the Missa Brevis in memory of the earthquake victims. He notably composed: two Essays for piano, a quintet for winds orchestra, a quartet no. 1, the Haitian Suite, Regards, the Tangente au Yanvalou, a Vodou Jazz Sonata, the Sonata for Christine for flute and piano, the Sonata for Cynthia for cello and piano, and a Concertino for clarinet. He also arranged several pieces by other Haitian composers, including: Haiti by Marcel L. Sylvain, Danza no. 4 and La Dangereuse by Ludovic Lamothe, Idylle Paysanne by Micheline L. Denis, Mèsi Bondye, Lan Guinen, Asòtò, and Fi nan bwa by Frantz Casséus. 

Julio Racine passed away peacefully at his home on October 11, 2020.









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