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Concert program for Anita Graef

Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 4 pm

Download a copy of the program here.

Anita Graef, cello
with Louise Chan, piano


Nina Shekhar (b. 1995)
Cajón (2016)

Teagan Faran/orig. Ángel Villoldo
El Choclo (2020)

Astor Piazzolla
Le Grand Tango (for cello and piano) (1973)

Robert Schumann
Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70 (1849)

David Baker
Sonata for Cello and Piano (1973)


About the artists

Described as “a world class musician” (Galena Gazette) who plays with “high energy and polish” (WQXR), cellist
Anita Graef has earned recognition for her music making as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral performer. Recent appearances include Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert series, and “Concerts from the Library of Congress.” She has also performed in recital as a guest of various radio programs, including “Young Artists Showcase” on WQXR, WFMT, WGTE, WOSU and others. She directs and performs with the Juliani Ensemble, an innovative, multi-faceted chamber ensemble, with whom she has performed at Preston Bradley Hall, as well as numerous renowned concert halls. Frequent orchestral appearances include the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, originally as a CCM-CSO Fellow, as well as the Louisville Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic and others. Recent and upcoming appearances include a recital at Columbia University, debuts in San Francisco, Toronto, San Diego, and performances throughout North America and Europe.

She has performed at various festivals, including fellowships with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, as principal cellist of Brevard Music Festival, the Catskills Chamber Music Festival, as assistant principal cellist of Miami Music Festival, as well as Credo Chamber Music Festival at Oberlin Conservatory. She has been a prizewinner at numerous competitions, including First Prize at the Golden Classical Music Awards, ongoing finalist status at the Tannenwald and ECSO Competitions, Third Prize at The North International Music Competition, and Silver Prize at the Muse International Competition.

She has had occasion to work with and perform for musicians such as Stephen Geber, Johannes Moser, Felix Wang, Roberto Diaz, Joel Smirnoff, Eric Kim, Charles Pickler, Yehuda Hanani, Martin Katz, Paul Watkins of the Emerson Quartet, Anne Martindale Williams, the Shanghai String Quartet, the Calidore Quartet, and the Chiara Quartet. Former teachers include Anthony Elliott, Marc Johnson, Hans Jorgen Jensen, and several members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including Jonathan Pegis, Richard Hirschl, and Brant Taylor. She has performed in orchestras under the baton of maestros such as Leonard Slatkin, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, James Gaffigan, Peter Oundjian, David Efron, JoAnn Falletta, Rossen Milanov, Louis Langree, James Conlon and Keith Lockhart.

Born into a family of professional musicians, Anita grew up surrounded by music. She began piano studies at age two, while beginning to study cello at age four, going on to make her concerto debut at the age of twelve. She went on to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, where she studied with professor Anthony Elliott. Following this, she completed studies for a Master’s Degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Ilya Finkelshteyn.

When not making music, Anita enjoys reading, cooking, crocheting, weight lifting, hiking, spending time with friends and family, and exploring new cities.

Anita performs on a modern Italian cello by Ferdinando Garimberti, dated 1923. For more information, visit

Pianist Louise Chan, a native of Ottawa, Canada, has performed as a solo and chamber musician for audiences across North America, including Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Weill Hall in New York, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. She is a past winner of the Canadian Music Competition, and has appeared as a soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Northwestern Summer Orchestra. She and violinist Kate Carter, as Blue Violet Duo, released their debut CD, American Souvenirs, in the fall of 2018, which was featured as WFMT 98.7’s Album of the Day. They perform regularly in the Midwest, including repeat engagements at the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts. Dr. Chan has served as principal pianist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and on the faculty of Northeastern Illinois University. She is currently on faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago, and performs as a keyboardist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University.