July 18, 1953 |
|Occupation(s)||Pianist and Professor|
|Labels||Centaur, Cougar Classics, Intersound, Carlton Classics|
Enrique Graf is a Uruguayan born, American naturalized musician.
Internationally acclaimed pianist Enrique Graf is one of the world’s premiere virtuosos equally sought after as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. He has been variously described as an “assured and technically complete pianist” (The Washington Post) and “one of the best interpreters of his generation” (El Pais), who plays with “fiery virtuosity” (The New York Times). “If you ever have the opportunity to hear Graf, do yourself a favor and go” (Newark Star Ledger).
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Graf began studying piano at the age of four with his mother. After winning all of the national competitions in Uruguay, he was offered a full scholarship from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and the Organization of American States to study with Leon Fleisher.
Graf won First Prize in the William Kapell International Piano Competition, the National Ensemble Piano Competition and the East and West International Competition in New York.
He has given recitals all over the world and has been featured as soloist with such orchestras as the Baltimore, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Florida, West Virginia, Illinois, Flagstaff, Macon, Augusta, Greenville, Charleston, New York City and Jupiter Symphonies, the Symphony of the Americas, the National Chamber Orchestra, the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, the American Chamber Orchestra, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Sinfonia da Camara, South Carolina Philharmonic, Florida Virtuosi Orchestra, the Puerto Rico Symphony, the Montevideo Philharmonic, the Lviv Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Janáček Philharmonic in the Czech Republic, and the national orchestras of Ukraine, Chile, Uruguay, Peru and Colombia.
Equally convincing in all periods of music, Graf has performed concertos by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, all five by Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Grieg, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, De Falla, Ravel, Gershwin, Turina, Shostakovich, Poulenc, Edward Hart, Florencia Di Concilio, Lee Hoiby and Leonardo Balada.
Additionally, he has appeared at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Krannert Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, Cultural Center of Manila, Teatro Opera in Buenos Aires, Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Florida, South Bay Center for the Arts in Los Angeles, Chautauqua Festival, Young Keyboard Artists International Festival in Ann Arbor, San Miguel de Allende Chamber Music Festival in Mexico, University of Maryland and University of Houston International Piano Festivals, Spoleto International Piano Festival in Italy, “Contrasts” Festival in Lviv and Kiev Music Fest in the Ukraine.
As a chamber musician he has toured with Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the Baltimore Wind Ensemble, the American Chamber Players, the Prague Wind Quintet, the Ives Quartet, the Apollo String Quartet, pianists Ilana Vered, Nibya Mariño, Katherine Jacobson and violinists Andres Cárdenes and Lee Chin.
An all Poulenc CD with the Charleston Symphony was a pick of the month by the Sunday London Times and was awarded five stars in Classic CD. His debut recording Enrique Graf plays Bach was called “An end to the discussion of whether or not Bach should be played on the piano” by Paul Hume of the Washington Post. Other recordings of Mozart and Beethoven Sonatas, Mendelssohn and Bach Variations, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, solo works by Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Gershwin, the Liszt Sonata, the Grieg Concerto, Edward Hart’s Tidal Concerto, Gershwin’s Concerto in F and two Beethoven Concertos have received such praise as “ideal performances” (Fanfare).
Graf taught for sixteen years at the Peabody Preparatory, became chairman of the piano department and received the Directors’ Recognition Award for Outstanding Teaching. He created an outstanding piano program at the College of Charleston where he was awarded the Distinguished Research Award and named University Artist in Residence. Graf also was Artist Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University. His students have won many national and international competitions. He has been a member of the jury in competitions all over the world and has given master classes at Yale University, Oberlin and Eastman Conservatories, the Shanghai and Kiev Conservatories and the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts and many others schools throughout the world.
Graf was Founder and Artistic Director of the International Piano Series in Charleston and the Young Artist Series in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and is co-director of Music Fest Perugia in Italy.
He has been awarded a Fellowship from the Aspen Institute Executive Seminar, the Music Fellowship from the South Carolina Arts Commission, Career Grants from the Charles Del Mar and Astral Foundations, and the Immigrant Achievement Award from the American Immigration Law Foundation.