john graham viola
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John Graham Viola


Aspen Music Festival, 2007, Lan Shui, conductor

John Graham has performed as concerto soloist with the Radio Orchestra of Berlin and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in Germany, the Hilversun Radio Orchestra in Holland, the Orchestre Colonne in Paris, and the Central Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing.

"John Graham gave an unforgettable performance of the Bartok Concerto. Such was the power and extreme delicacy of his playing, with a tone quality unmatched in our time, that it was like a perfectly argued discourse".
–La Republique (Paris)

He has appeared as guest artist with the Juilliard,Tokyo, Mendelssohn, American, Ying and Guarneri String Quartets, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and was a member of the Beaux-Arts String Quartet (Naumberg Award) and the Galimir String Quartet.

"Graham does everything with a topflight musicianship and with a matching tone and style".
–Washington Post

john graham viola

He has participated in the Marlboro, Aspen, Santa Fe, and Musicorda Music Festivals. He has also performed in the Kuhmo Festival in Finland, and Les Semaines Musicales in France.

"The viola playing of John Graham is that unknown land, that world within us that we have always imagined, never grasped, but which we recognize so readily when it appears...his understanding and breadth of phrasing are extraordinary...he sailed through the most difficult passages without so much as a touch of harshness".
– Les Nouvelles D' Orleans

From 1962 until 1989 he was based in New York City where he was also active as a free-lance musician in symphonic, chamber, opera, ballet and music theater orchestras, in many contemporary music concert series, and in recording for television and motion pictures. He was a principal violist of the American Symphony with Leopold Stowkowski and in chamber orchestra with Pablo Casals.

"Graham's playing is full of passionate conviction. His tone is rich yet focused..."
–Chicago Sun Times

He is well-known for his performances and advocacy of new viola repertory, some of which are collected in the four CD series, Music for the Viola . He has also recorded the complete viola quintets of Mozart with the Juilliard Quartet, the string quartets of Debussy, Ravel and Berg with the Galimir Quartet and numerous works of 20th-century composers with the contemporary music ensemble, Speculum Musicae.

"The name of the soloist John Graham should by all means be remembered: violists of comparable readiness to identity with the composition, with such technical assurance,can be counted on the fingers of one hand".
–Der Tagesspiegelm (Berlin)


john graham viola

A native of California, John Graham attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco State University and graduated from the University of California in Berkeley, studying, with Philip Burton, violist of the Griller String Quartet. He also studied the viola with William Primrose, Renzo Sabatini, George Neikrug and in master class with Pablo Casals.

"He is a superb technician and his musicianship is awesome. Gifted with all the fabled warmth and richness of the viola's tone, his playing still manages to move with a carefree suppleness".
–San Franciso Chronicle

In 1989 he accepted a position as full professor at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, where he is now Professor Emeritus. He has been a guest- professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the Shanghai Conservatory, the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo and has been on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music in New York City and the State University of New York at Stony Brook and at Purchase. He was for many years a member of the Artist-Faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School.

John Graham is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. He also studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco State University. His major teacher was Philip Burton, violist of the Griller String Quartet. He also worked with William Primrose, Renzo Sabatini, George Neikrug and, in master class with Pablo Casals.

"Graham's viola playing was marked by a wonderful silvery sound in all registers and the seamless bowing to display that sound to its best advantage."
–Houston Post






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john graham viola