Swiss composer, pianist, organist and writer Raffaele D'Alessandro was born in St Gallen on 17 March 1911. His father was Italian and his mother from the Swiss Canton of the Grisons. He studied music in Zurich then Paris, where his teachers included Nadia Boulanger and Marcel Dupré.
He settled in Lausanne in 1940, working as a concert pianist, music critic and radio contributor. In 1941 his composition Rumba sinfonica was given its first performance by Ernest Ansermet and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. His compositions began to be performed by prestigious musicians, including Victor Desarzens, Paul Kletzki, Paul Sacher, Carl Schricht and Günter Wand, but he also continued working as a pianist and organist.
His output includes orchestral and chamber music, but also piano and organ works.
Raffaele D'Alessandro died in Lausanne on his forty-eighth birthday - 17 March 1959.