A graduate of the Karol Lipiński Music Academy in Wrocław in the accordion class of Zbigniew Łuc and of the Royal Academy of Music in the class of Owen Murray, from which he majored as the second-best student, receiving the Lady Theodore Holland Prize and Bache Fund Prize for his achievements. In April 2015, he obtained a PhD in musical art.
He made his solo debut at the age of 15 with the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra, and in May 2004 appeared with orchestra at the European Youth Music Festival in Malmö and Copenhagen. In January 2009 he played at London’s Purcell Room as winner of the Park Lane Group Young Artist award, giving the world premiere of Giles Swayne’s Squeezy. The Times praised the “deep engagement with the expressive potential of his instrument that distinguished his recital ... maturity beyond his 21 years.”
During his UK residency he has also performed at Saint-Martinin-the-Fields, Barbican Centre, King’s Place, Bristol’s Colston Hall, and twice at the Wigmore Hall as a finalist of the Young Concert Artists Trust and Patron’s Award competition.
In 2010 he received two prizes at the IBLA Grand Prize Competition and the 3rd Prize and Special Prize at the Andrzej Krzanowski International Accordion Competition. He has also participated in masterclasses with leading accordion teachers including Friedrich Lips (Russia), Matti Rantanen, Mika Väyrynen (Finland), Claudio Jacomucci (Italy), Vojin Vasović (Serbia), Raimondas Sviackevičius (Lithuania), Joachim Pichura, Bogdan Dowlasz, and Jerzy Jurek (Poland), as well as workshops run by the Motion Trio ensemble and a masterclass of trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich.
He has held several scholarships from the Council of Wrocław, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Crescendum Est-Polonia Foundation, Solti Foundation, and four times from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. In 2008, he was awarded the Young Poland scholarship. He has for many years been supported by the Polish Children’s Fund.
As a soloist and orchestra musician, he has worked with conductors including Valery Gergiev, Pierre-André Valade, Lionel Bringuier, Ernst Kovacic, Łukasz Borowicz, and Szymon Bywalec, and ensembles such as BBC Symphony, London Sinfonietta, London Contemporary Orchestra, Rambert Dance Company, Wrocław Opera and Philharmonic. He is very active as a chamber musician, regularly appearing with cellist Jessica Hayes, and has founded the Duo van Vliet with violist Ian Anderson.
Rafał Łuc often cooperates with composers on new accordion repertoire. He has premiered solo and chamber works by Cezary Duchnowski, Paweł Hendrich, Gavin Higgins, Aleksander Nowak, Julian Philips, Jacek Sotomski, Mikołaj Laskowski, Rafał Zalech, Adam Porębski, and many others.
He plays a new concert accordion, the Pigini Sirius Millennium, purchased thanks to the financial support of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Royal Philharmonic Society.
In May 2015, Rafał Łuc’s solo album acc++ca was released by DUX, featuring works by Wrocław composers for accordion and electronics.