About Rafael Solano

Rafael Sánchez Solano was born on April 10, 1931, in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. When he was 11 years old he was considered as a child prodigy because he played the violin, the cello and the harmonium in theatrical and musical performances and in the church of his hometown. In 1950 he began his formal music studies at the National Conservatory in the Dominican capital, and in the mid-60s he expands his composition studies in New York with famous jazz pianist and composer Hall Overton.

He is regarded as the Dominican musician and composer who has had the most influence on the Dominican music during the second half of the twentieth century. His varied artistic career as a radio and television entertainer and musician, as well as orchestra conductor, has led him to perform both inside and outside of the Dominican Republic, in countries as diverse as Venezuela, Jamaica, The Bahamas, the United States and Europe, among others.

In addition to publishing his column “Solanismos” in the Listín Diario in 1975, in 1992 he published his book of autobiographical stories titled “Letra y Música (Words and Music)”, and later, in 2003, together with co-author Catana Pérez de Cuello, he published the book “El Merengue, Música y Baile de la República Dominicana (Merengue, Music and Dance of the Dominican Republic)”. The latter book won the National Book Fair Award in 2005.

He has mounted major musical productions at the request of national entities such as the Central Bank, the Reserve Bank, the E. León Jimenes Center, and the Secretariats of Tourism and of Culture.

Since the triumph of his most famous song Por amor, which was first interpreted by Niní Cáffaro during the Primer Festival de la Canción, it has been interpreted by internationally famous singers such as Marco Antonio Muñiz, Gloria Estefan with Jon Secada, Rubén Juárez, Mariachi Vargas, Vicky Carr, Plácido Domingo, Roberto Ledesma, Danny Rivera, Tito Rodríguez, and many others.

For these and many other virtues as a communicator, composer and musician, and because he made the music of the Dominican Republic become internationally famous, Rafael Solano Sánchez was appointed Ambassador to UNESCO, with headquarters in Paris, France, between 1982 and 1986.