Since his concerto debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15, pianist Steven Graff has enjoyed a thriving career as both a performer and educator. Born in Chicago, he moved to New York to attend The Juilliard School, where he received Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees as a Petschek scholarship awardee and studied with Adele Marcus, Beveridge Webster and Herbert Stessin. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from The Graduate School of the City University of New York.
A sought-after recitalist and chamber musician, Dr. Graff was most recently the pianist at the New York Philharmonic Education-sponsored Chamber Music series. Additional memorable performance venues include the Weill, Zankel and Stern Auditoriums at Carnegie Hall, Merkin and Alice Tully Halls in New York City, and tours of Norway and Japan. Concerto performances include a nine-city tour of China playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Manhattan Symphonie and the world premiere of John Carbon’s piano concerto, Fantasy Nocturne, at the Barshinger Center in Pennsylvania. He often improvises his own cadenzas for Mozart concerto performances, most recently in New York City with the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble and the Spectrum Symphony.
Steven Graff joined the Petrie School of Music in Fall of 2020, having previously served on the faculty of New York’s Hunter College, the Macaulay Honors College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He lives in Spartanburg with his wife, Anne, and son, Forest.
Steven Graff is a Steinway Artist.
Scholarly & Research Activity
An advocate of new music, Dr. Graff has premiered and recorded numerous contemporary works, most recently on the Centaur, Capstone, Zimbel and Convivium labels with Naxos distribution. His performances have also been broadcast in Oslo and Honolulu, on New York’s WQXR and Chicago’s WFMT.
Dr. Graff has given lecture-recitals and master classes at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival, Bar Harbor Music Festival, Aloha International Piano Festival, and colleges throughout the United States. He recently spoke on “sustaining future audiences for classical music” at the Macaulay Honors College’s bi-annual Topics and Tapas series, a subject very dear to his heart. A frequent competition adjudicator, Dr. Graff has judged for The Steinway Piano Competition, The International Keyboard Institute and Festival, and France’s Fontainebleau Festival.