Rafael Cortés was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music and studied in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. He was for thirteen years chairman of the Piano Department at the Turtle Bay Music School in New York City. His essays on music have appeared in Clavier magazine, and he is the author of the memoir A Pianist: Wanderings of the Mind and Spirit.
He lives and teaches in New York, where he also serves as a judge in piano competitions. Rafael's original composition, "Improvisation on the High Line," accompanies the video in the app. (Available for download here.) He also plays Schubert's "Moments musicaux" Opus 94, No. 2 in the archival video clip featuring the West Side Cowboy; click here see the video.
Below, listen to a live performance of Rafael playing Robert Schumann’s Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17 (1st movement), recorded at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico in 1982.