Artist's Biography

Gary Graffman


Tuned (in concert) 5/8/76 (Norwalk, Ct.)

Click .mp3  (590kb)  for actual concert sample (Tchaikovsky  Piano Concerto #1)

Click .mp3  (364kb)  for actual concert sample (Tchaikovsky  Piano Concerto #1)

"He has recorded with more major orchestras than any other pianist. (At the time of review 1976). His recent rethinking of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto, recorded with the Cleveland Orchestra under the late George Szell, has been hailed by many critics as the choicest recorded performance of that venerable warhorse." -Dennis Russell Davies

 Graffman still holds the record of being the only piano soloist to have recorded with this country's top six orchestras. (New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago and San Francisco.)

Mr. Graffman was born in New York City of Russian parents. At age of three he started to investigate the piano by himself, and at seven he won a prized scholarship to study with the renowned Mme. Isabelle Vengerova at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. As winner of the first regional competition of the Rachmaninoff contest he made his critically acclaimed debut with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 18. He won the national Rachmaninoff competition and then the following year the Leventritt competition, whereupon he was invited to perform with the Cleveland Orchestra under Szell and the New York Philharmonic under Bernstein. (Now he is one of the judges of the Leventritt competition which helped launched him.) More honors followed, including the opportunity to study with Vladmir Horowitz and to participate in the Marlboro Festival with Rudolf Serkin.

Graffman made his first world tour in 1958 and has since become a superstar among today's elite circle of international concert pianist. He has played on six continets, some years giving over 100 concerts.

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