The American violist, John Graham, obtaind his Bachelor of Art degree from the University of California-Berkeley. He studied with Philip Burton, William Primrose, George Neikrug, Renzo Sabatini, the Griller Quartet, and in master-class with Pablo Casals.
From 1962 until 1989 John Graham was based in New York City where he was also active as a top 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 Stokowski and in chamber orchestra with Pablo Casals.
John Graham has performed as soloist and in chamber music ensembles in the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan, China and Korea. He was a member of the Beaux-Arts Quartet, Galimir String Quartet, and Speculum Musicae. He has appeared as a guest artist with Juilliard Quartet, Guarnieri Quartet, Mendelssohn Quartet, Ying Quartet, Tokyo Quartet, American Quartet, Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and Francesco Trio. He gave New York City recitals at Carnegie Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall, and performed in the European premiere of Joseph Druckman's Viola Concerto with the Radio-Symphonie-Orchester-Berlin. He has appeared as concerto soloist with the Central Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing; Orchestre Colonne in Paris; Bamberger Symphoniker; Dutch Radio Philharmonic (Hilversun Radio Orchestra in Holland); Chicago String Ensemble; and Aspen Festival Orchestra.
In the USA, John Graham has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Musicorda Festival, Heifetz Institute, Kneisel Hall, Victoria International Festival, and Aspen Festival. He has also performed for the Kuhmo Festival in Finland, Les Semaines Musicales in France and the Eastman Seminar in Hamamatsu, Japan, and was a long-time member of the Artist Faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School.
John Graham taught for nineteen years (since 1989) at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester and is now Professor Emeritus of Viola. He also taught at SUNY-Potsdam (1967-1970), State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook (1972-1989), Mannes College of Music in New York City (1979-1989), Kneisel Hall, Blue Hill, ME (1979-1981), SUNY-Purchase (1980-1982). He has been a guest-professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing (1981, 1983, 2001), the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (1981, 2001), Aspen Music School (1987-1989 and since 2001), Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo (1999), Kumho Winter Seminar (Festival) in Korea (2000), and the Eastman Seminar in Hamamatsu Japan. In 2004 he received the Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching.
John Graham has recorded a four volume CD Series, Music for the Viola, . His ensemble recordings include the complete viola quintets of Mozart with the Juilliard Quartet (on CBS), the string quartets of Debussy, Ravel and Alban Berg with the Galimir Quartet (on Vanguard), the complete Divertimenti of Mozart with the New York Philomusica and many works of 20th-century American composers with Speculum Musicae (on CBS, CRI, Nonesuch, and Bridge).