Enrique Graf was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in a family in which music was very important, his mother being his first teacher. After winning all the national competitions there, he was awarded a full scholarship by the Organization of American States and Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory to study with the great Leon Fleisher. Finishing his studies, Graf was the winner of the First Prize in the International Piano Competition “William Kapell”, the “USA National Ensemble Competition” and the “East and West International Auditions” in New York.
Since then he has performed in recitals, chamber music, and with orchestras in the most important venues in the United States such as Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, South Bay Center for the Arts in Los Angeles, Broward Center for the Arts in Florida, and Carnegie Hall. He has participated in the festivals of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, Chautauqua in New York, Music Fest Perugia and Spoleto International Piano Festival in Italy, Festivals of Santa Maria and Natal in Brazil, Kiev Music Festival and those of the universities of Maryland and Houston among others. He has performed at the Argentinian Mozarteum, the Cultural Centers of São Paulo and Manila, and the Beethoven Society of Europe at St. Martin in the Fields and St. James Piccadilly in London.
Graf has been a soloist with orchestras in New York, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Nashville, Indianapolis, Richmond, Washington, Miami, Orlando, New Jersey, West Virginia, Charleston, Flagstaff, Greenville, Raleigh/Durham, Hudson Valley , Springfield, Texas, Moscow, Prague, Kiev, Lviv, Puerto Rico, Bogotá, Santiago, Concepcion, Rosario, Tucumán, Caracas, Lima, Montevideo, Belo Horizonte and the Florida Virtuosi, Janacek Philharmonic, American Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera in Illinois and the Symphony of the Americas.
His repertoire includes concertos by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (all), Brahms, Liszt, Grieg, Franck, Mendelssohn, Tschaikowsky, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Poulenc, Ravel, Shostakovich, De Falla, Turina, Lee Hoiby, and he premiered the concertos by Edward Hart and Florencia Di Concilio. He performed and recorded for the Naxos label the Concerto for Piano, Winds and Percussion by Leonardo Balada.
Graf has toured with distinguished chamber groups such as Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the Ives Quartet, the Baltimore Wind Ensemble, the American Chamber Players, the Apollo String Quartet, and the Prague Wind Quintet.
His CD of works by Poulenc with the Charleston Symphony was chosen “Best of the Month” by the London Sunday Times and received 5 stars in Classic CD. Other recordings with Variations by Bach and Mendelssohn, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor, Bach Suites, a live recital with favorites from the piano repertoire, Latin American works for violin and piano, and concertos for piano and orchestra of Beethoven, Grieg, Gershwin and Hart
have received high praise in the specialized press.
His Beethoven Sonata Op.2 #3 from a New York recital was selected by National Public Radio (NPR) for the complete cycle of Beethoven Sonatas “live” together with great pianists such as Murray Perahia and Andre Watts. The Beethoven Piano Society of Europe invited him to play in London on the 250th anniversary of his birth.
Graf received the Immigrant Award from the American Immigration Lawyers Foundation, being along with Midori and Plácido Domingo the only musicians honored with this distinction to date.
Graf is one of the most renowned piano teachers and has given master classes at distinguished universities such as Carnegie-Mellon and Yale, the Shanghai Conservatory, the Hong Kong Academy of Arts, the National University of Korea, the Federal University of São Paulo, Peabody, Oberlin, Boston and Eastman Conservatories. He has been a member of the jury and his students have been winners in numerous national and international competitions.
Founder and Artistic Director of the International Festival of Colonia, Uruguay, the Charleston International Piano Series, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival Young Artists Series, Graf was also one of the founders of the Perugia Music Festival in Italy.
“One of the brilliant pianists of our times” (The Washington Post).
“One of the best interpreters of his generation” (El País)
“Impressive virtuosity” (The New York Times).
“Musicality is his calling card” (La Nación)
“If you get a chance to listen to Graf, do yourself a favor and go” (Newark Star Ledger).