Raphael Chretien was born in 1972 into a family of musicians and began playing the piano and the cello with his father and Alain Meunier. At the age of fourteen, he's selected by Mstislav Rostropovitch, to participate in his master-class in Paris dedicated to Prokofiev. He entered the following year the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris (Prof. Philippe Muller and Christian Ivaldi) where he won, a few years later, the first prizes in Cello and Chamber Music.
Postgraduated at the CNSM in Paris and at the Basel Music Academy (Solist Diploma), he met Miklos Perenyi, Janos Starker, Paul Tortelier, but also Pierre Boulez who wrote at that time: “I heard Raphael Chretien and was very impressed by his interpretation of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees…”.
Laureate of several international competitions including the Special Martinu Prize at Prague International Competition and the Grand Prize and the Public Prize at Belgrade International Competition, and rich notably of an experience as co-principal in the London Symphony Orchestra, Raphael Chretien then embarks on an international career as a soloist leading him nowadays all over the world...
Regularly invited to the principal french festivals (Classique au vert-Paris, Flaneries-Reims, Folles journees-Nantes, Paques-Deauville, Nancyphonies...) and international events (Keihanna concert series-Jap, Moscow conservatory in America, Musicadoy-Esp, Nordic music days-Dk, Settimane musicale di Siena-It...), he's also one of the few european musicians to be invited to the famous Marlboro music festival-Usa, along with such artists as Midori, Julliard quartet, Andras Schiff and Mitsuko Ushida.
As a solist, he has played a with Orchestre National d'Ile de France, les Siecles, the Guildhall symphony orchestra, Sinfonica de Cordoba, Dresden universität orchester, the orchester of Caen, the orchester of Cannes-PACA, the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Salzburg Camerata, Basel Radio-Symphonic Orchestra, Cuidad de Granada,... under the direction of Jiri Belohavek, Philippe Bender, Mark Foster, Philippe Herreweghe, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Gerard Korsten, Adrian Leaper, Jacques Mercier, François-Xavier Roth, Kaspar Zehnder or Ronald Zollman.
His eclectic repertoire is extending from Bach solo suites on baroque instrument to the most contemporary pieces: creator or dedicatee of pieces by Nicolas Bacri, Franck Bedrossian, Paul Mefano, Piotr Moss, Philippe Schoeller, Alessandro Solbiati, Iannis Xenakis, Philippe Hersant..., Raphael Chretien extensively participates in the promotion of the today's music for years, performing in numbers of concerts and recordings.
In the discographic field, one can note the very "first worldwide recording" of Alfredo Piatti Caprices for solo cello, as well as works by Brahms, Ginastera, Martinu, but also Guy Ropartz, Duparc, Saint-Saens, Lalo and Offenbach (duos for 2 celli with Jerome Pernoo), which are regularly acclaimed by the press (ffff in Télérama, “Recommandé” by Classica, 10 by Répertoire, “Sélections de l’année” in Le Monde and the Strad…).