Gary Graffman

Born 14 October 1928.


Gary Graffman (born 14 October 1928) is an American classical pianist, teacher of piano and music administrator.

Graffman was born in New York City to Russian-Jewish parents. Having started piano at age 3, Graffman entered the Curtis Institute of Music at age 7 in 1936 as a piano student of Isabelle Vengerova. After graduating from Curtis in 1946, he made his professional solo debut with conductor Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. By age 20, Graffman had made a name for himself worldwide as a classical pianist. In 1949, he won the prestigious Leventritt Competition. He then furthered his piano studies with Rudolf Serkin at the Marlboro Music Festival and informally with Vladimir Horowitz.

Upon Graduation he played with numerous orchestras and performed concerts and recitals internationally. Over the next three decades, he toured and recorded extensively, performing solo and with orchestras around the globe. In 1964, he recorded Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic. He also made a classic recording of Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra in 1966; it was reissued on CD as part of Sony Classical's "Great Performances" series in 2006.

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