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Enrique Graf (Piano)

Born: 1953 - Montevideo, Uruguay

The Uruguayan pianist, Enrique Graf, was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and is now an American citizen. He started studying piano at the age of 4 with his mother and later at the Falleri-Balzo Conservatory. After winning all of the national competitions in Uruguay, he went to the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University to study with Leon Fleisher on a full scholarship from the Organization of American States and the Peabody. In 1977 he and Katherine Jacobson won First Prize in the National Ensemble Two Piano Competition, the following year Graf was the First Prize winner in the William Kapell International Piano Competition and in 1981 he won the East and West International Competition in New York City. He laso won the National Ensemble Piano Competition, and received the Immigrant Achievement Award from the American Immigration Law Foundation.

Enrique Graf has given recitals all over the world and has been soloist with such orchestras as the Baltimore Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Florida Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Flagstaff Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, New York City Symphony and Jupiter Symphony, the Symphony of the Americas, National Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Chamber Orchestra, American Chamber Orchestra, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Sinfonia da Camara, Puerto Rico Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Montevideo Philharmonic, Lviv Philharmonic, Janacek Philharmonic in the Czech Republic, and the national orchestras of Ukraine, Chile, Uruguay, Panama, Peru and Colombia.

Enrique Graf has appeared at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Krannert Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, the Cultural Center of Manila, Teatro Opera in Buenos Aires, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Florida, South Bay Center for the Arts in Los Angeles, Chautauqua Festival, San Miguel de Allende Chamber Music Festival in Mexico, Young Keyboard Artists International Festival in Ann Arbor, the 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 such ensembles as Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the Baltimore Wind Ensemble, the American Chamber Players, the Prague Wind Quintet, the Apollo String Quartet, and the Ives String Quartet.

An all Francis Poulenc CD with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra 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 of not Bach should be played on the piano" by Paul Hume of the Washington Post. Other recordings of W.A. Mozart's Sonatas, Franz Liszt’s B Minor Sonata, and concertos by Grieg , Edward Hart, Gershwin and L.v. Beethoven have received such praise as "ideal performances" (Fanfare).

After fourteen years of teaching at the Peabody Preparatory, where he became chairman of the piano department, Enrique Graf received the Directors' Recognition Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1989. He is Artist in Residence at the College of Charleston, and in 1996 the College awarded him the Distinguished Research Award. While continuing to build an outstanding piano program in Charleston, he is, since 1996, also on the graduate faculty of Carnegie Mellon University. His students have won many national and international competitions. Graf has been on the juries of international competitions in the United States and Europe and has given master-classes on four continents.

Enrique Graf is founder and Artistic Director of the International Piano Series in Charleston and the Young Artist Series in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. He was 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. He is editor of an edition of W.A. Mozart's piano sonatas published jointly by G. Schirmer and Hal Leonard.


"Mr. Graf's Bach playing is extroverted, impulsive and altogether joyous, marked by an irresistible sense of flow." - The New York Times
"Wonderfully inevitable Bach... Graf is a musician first and, only after that, an assured and technically complete pianist." - The Washington Post
"The pianist managed to unify into a compelling whole the disparate elements in Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition." - The New York Times
"He pulled off a superb performance (Mussorgsky). He is a master of detail and looks at each phrase closely and intimately. He is a master of the big picture and outlines musical structures with bold clarity." - The Washington Post

Source: Enrique Graf Website; Cougar Classics Website; College of Charleston Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2009)

Enrique Graf: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Enrique Graf - Piano (Official Website)
Enrique Graf - Piano (World Concert Artist Directory)
Enrique Graf (Cougar Classics)

Enrique Graf (College of Charleston - Music Department)
Enrique Graf (Wikipedia)

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