Meet The Performers

Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Strings - Viola

Max Raimi


A native of Detroit, Max Raimi studied viola with Ara Zerounian before earning degrees in viola performance at the University of Michigan and later at the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Lillian Fuchs. In 1984, Sir Georg Solti hired Raimi to join the viola section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his work in the CSO, he is frequently heard in chamber performances in Chicago, on the radio and at music festivals throughout the United States.

A prolific composer, Raimi has received commissions from many ensembles and institutions, including the Chicago Symphony, the Library of Congress and the American Chamber Players. In February 1998, his Elegy for twelve violas, harp, celesta and percussion was performed at three Chicago Symphony subscription concerts conducted by Daniel Barenboim. His compositions have been featured on the MusicNOW series and have been recorded for CD under the labels of Capstone Records, Egan Records, Gasparo and the Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Peace Studies.

Raimi’s arrangements have enjoyed wide circulation as well, having been performed by Daniel Barenboim on piano, among others. In August 1985, a sellout crowd at the old Comiskey Park heard the Chicago Symphony viola section play his arrangement of The Star-Spangled Banner before a Chicago White Sox game, and a three-viola version of the same work was twice performed at the old Chicago Stadium for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

Education and outreach is another abiding interest; Raimi frequently performs at schools throughout the Chicago area, teaches chamber music at Northwestern University and created and hosted Classics Plugged, a monthly program featuring interviews and commentary related to the world of classical music in Chicago on radio station WLUW.

He lives in Chicago with his wife, Barbara Flood, and their son, Paul.

September 2012

Please note: Biographies on the CSO website are based on the information that was most recently provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on the artists' own websites or those of their representatives.