Assistant Principal Flutist of the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra since 1968, Richard Graef holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the
Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from Indiana University.
He also attended the Aspen Music School and later traveled to Salzburg,
Austria, to attend the Mozarteum Academy of Music.
Before coming to Chicago, Graef served as
assistant principal flutist of the Minnesota Orchestra from 1966 to 1968. On
leave of absence from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the 1985-1986
season, he returned to his home state, where he was appointed professor of
music in flute at Indiana University.
Graef is an active performer and teacher of the
Baroque, one-keyed flute, and he has an extensive collection of historic
flutes. Graef is currently an associate professor in flute at Northwestern
University School of Music, teaching both modern and early flute technique.
Richard was also honored with a Grammy Award for his performances with Chicago
During the 1990s, Graef teamed up with his flutist
wife Emily to lead the Galena Chamber Ensemble in an extensive chamber music
concert series in Galena, Illinois. More recently, the couple is active in the
Chicago area performing with other CSO colleagues as the Juliani Ensemble
Outside of music, Graef has an active interest in
environmental causes and is involved in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in
the restoration and preservation of a remnant oak woodland and tall-grass
prairie on his property in Wisconsin.
Richard is the father of four children: Rick,
Rachel, Anita and Julian.