Rafi Popper-Keizer picked up a bow when he was two years old and hasn't put it down since. From an early age, however, his clearest affinities were mathematical, and it was on this basis that he was accepted as a full-time student at the University of California of Santa Cruz at age 12, by which point he had already completed two years of undergraduate coursework at that institution. Just for a little variety, he enrolled in a music theory and literature class. The following semester, he changed his major and never looked back.
In 1995, Rafi moved to the East Coast to pursue a Masters of Music and Artist Diploma at the New England Conservatory. From that time he has been a prominent member of the Boston arts scene, twice dubbed “a local hero” by the Boston Globe. He is the principal cellist with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Emmanuel Music, Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Monadnock Music, Cantata Singers, and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and enjoys regular or guest affiliations with numerous other organizations including Winsor Music, Sound/Icon, and the Ludovico Ensemble.
Rafi is featured on over two dozen recordings, which include the premieres of Robert Erickson's Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra, Thomas Oboe Lee's cello concerto Eurydice,Malcolm Peyton's unaccompanied Cello Piece, and Yehudi Wyner's De Novo for cello and small chamber ensemble. His most recent recording is a disc of major unaccompanied works by Kodaly and Boston-based composer Ralf Gawlick, Musica Omnia.
Rafi has been a member of A Far Cry since 2017. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and two children. His hobbies include semicolons.