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What inspired you to play the flute?

As a little schoolboy I played treble recorder like everybody. By looking for a real instrument my parents proposed a “real flute” a Böhm-flute.

 

Who were your musical inspirations?

I listened to my mother who was a singer. Later on I found my ideal in many great musicians, for example the violoncellist Pao Casals or the pianist Edwin Fischer. My idol as flutist was a man I have never met or heard. He was not even alive anymore. He existed only in my imagination : Philippe Gaubert.

 

What Flute do you play?

During my career I played many different instruments (Italian, French, German, American, Japanese). However, by listening my recordings I wouldn’t be able to tell you which instrument I have used…! Nowadays, I am playing a gold Yamaha flute.

 

How do you keep yourself interested in practicing and playing these days?

First by searching to find the right expression for the music I am going to play. Second by trying to acquire the necessary instrumental means. This never ends … What was the inspiration for your pedagogical books (Check- up, Interpretation, The Singing Flute and Study with Style)? My experience as a teacher.

 

How has the flute world changed since you were a student?

Let me just name three facts: 1. At the time you mentioned (end of the forties of the last century) there was, I think, only one great city in the world where you could find an excellent flutist in every orchestra — Paris! Nowadays you will find good flutists around the whole world. There playing is generally on a high instrumental level, although perhaps less personally varied. 2. When I won the prize of the Munich ARD competition in 1953 there were about 30 applicants, and some four or five of them were really good players. In 2015 at about 270 applied for the competition. I had to judge 60 who were admitted to play and all of them were very good. 3. I studied in the conservatoriesof Zurich and Paris. In both of these places there was just one female flutist. What a difference nowadays…!

 

Do you prepare students for orchestral auditions and what is your philosophy for this kind of preparation?

I have never prepared my students especially for auditions, that means I never handled this theme. Times have changed. Before I joined the Winterthur symphony orchestra as solo flute in 1950 I had only played just half a dozen orchestral parts – the ones in Taffanels’ method…!

 

What advice would you give to young flute players graduating from music conservatoires now?

Be flexible, be ready for everything; play piccolo, play traverso, enjoy teaching! If you have the chance to earn your living by making music don’t forget it is a privilege!

Peter-Lukas Graf Discography: Flute Solo

Flute Solo

Bach, Berio a.o.
Claves 50-8005
Heiner Reitz (Vo.II) 12 Caprices
Telos Music TLS 026

Flute/Orchestra

Boccherini, Cimarosa, Gluck
Jecklin 506-2
Devienne, Ibert
Claves 50-501
Krommer (Grand Prix International du Disque)
Claves 50-8203
Mozart
Claves 50-8505
Mozart (flute/harp)
Claves 50-0208
Quantz, Stamitz, Stalder
Claves 50-808-9
Pergolesi, Piccinni, Mercadante
Claves 50-9103
Vivaldi
Claves 50-8807
Romantic Flute Concertos
(Reinecke, Reissiger)
Claves 50-2108

Flute A.O./Orchestra

Krommer: Sinfonia concertante for flute, clarinet and violin
Tudor 757
Flute/clarinette/violin/orchestra
Ex Libris CD 6039
Mozart: Concerto for flute and Harp
Claves 50-0208
Krommer: Concertino for fl/ob/orch
Claves 50-8203

Flute/Harpsichord

Bach, J.S.
Claves 50-0401
Bach, J.S.
Jecklin 4400/1-2
Haendel
Claves 50-0238

Flute/Piano

J.S. Bach
The 5 authentic sonatas (Aglaia Graf)
Claves 50-2511
“Classics for the flute”, Vol. 1
(Schubert, Widor, Martinu, Poulenc)
Claves 50-9306
“Classics for the flute”, Vol. 2
(Reinecke, Milhaud, Hindemith, Martin, Prokofiev)
Claves 50-9307
“Joueurs de flute”
(Chaminade Hüe, Enesco, Gaubert a.o.)
Claves 50-0704
Joplin (Ragtimes)
Claves 50-8715
Kuhlau (Sonatas)
Claves 50-8705
Virtuoso flute (Czerny, Kuhlau a.o.)
Jecklin 577-

Flute/Guitar

Transscriptions
(Bach, Schubert, Mozart)
Claves 50-9705
“Miniatures”
(Bach, Chopin, Ibert, Mozart, Ravel, Villa-Lobos a.o.)
Claves 50-2013
Carulli (6 Serenades)
Claves 50-8304
Giuliani, Carulli, Ibert, Ravel, Burkhard
Claves 50-0408

Flute/Harp

Mozart (Concerto for fl/hp KV 299)
Claves 50-0208
Duos
(Rossini, Donizetti, Spohr, Paganini, Fauré, Lauber)
Claves 50-0708
“French Masterpieces” for harp a.o.
Debussy (Sonate No 2)
Ravel (Introduction et Allegro)
Claves 50-0280

Chamber Music

“2 Flutes” (Duos: F.Bach, Briccialdi-Trios 2 fl/piano:
J.S.Bach, Kuhlau, Doppler)
Claves 50-2006
Trios
Beethoven: Triosonata G-Major fl/fg/p -woO 37,
Serenade D-Major fl/v/vla op 25
Claves 50-8403
Reger: 2 Serenades G-Major, D-Major for fl/v/vla
Claves 50-8104

 

Quartets
Krommer: 3 fl-quartets op. 17/92/93; Prix Choc Paris
Claves 50-8708

Mozart: 4 quartets/Carmina
Claves 50-9014

Mozart: 4 quartets
Ex Libris CD-6087
Rossini: 4 quartets
No 1 G-Major/No 2 A-Major
No 4 B-Major/No 6 D-Major
Claves 50-8608

Flute and Orchestra
J.S. Bach: Musical Offering
Claves 50-0198

Song Recital: Bach, Haendel, Rameau, Scarlatti,
Martin, Ravel and Roussel (K. Graf, soprano)
Claves 50-0604
Baroque Chamber Music for flute, oboe (Goritzki) and harpsichord (Dähler)
Bach, Haendel, Quantz, Couperin, Vivaldi and Lotti
Claves 50-0404

Claudia Stein: Interview, Oct ’17

I had the good fortune whilst still at a special music school to meet composers and literally ‘grow up with them’, so that contemporary music was a natural part of my background. When I was 15, my classmate John Rausek wrote a piece dedicated to me. Later on I developed a close relationship to the composition…

Mario Caroli: Interview Sep ’17

Do you approach learning contemporary music with the same principles as for something earlier? Yes, of course! I never make differences between the 'repertoire' and the new pieces, and maybe this approach makes it new and refreshing. I play a lot of contemporary music...

Clare Southworth: Interview ‘Nov 16

Who were your main musical influences? I had two main influences outside my college life, which were William Bennett and Geoffrey Gilbert. I would meet up with them even year at the international summer school where I was a student at first, and then I taught on it...

Katherine Baker: Interview Jun ’16

How did your musical journey begin? I went to the Royal Academy of Music with the intention of studying with William Bennett who had inspired me to apply there. For my first year I had lessons with his wife Michie who took me back to the basics of Taffanel & Gaubert,...

Jim Walker: Interview May ’16

What do you think makes a great orchestral player? It is impossible to separate most of those critical characteristics from those of a great soloist, chamber musician or session musician. The fundamentals are universal and without them, no musician can function at a...

Claire Wickes: Interview Mar ’16 (Part 2)

First Flute of the English National Opera: Part - 2 Advice for Students and Young Players As your studying and professional playing overlapped, what did you find to be the main differences between playing with student orchestras and professional orchestras?...

Claire Wickes: Interview Feb ’16 (Part1)

First Flute of the English National Opera   What is your favourite opera that you have played so far and why? It’s very difficult to decide on a favourite; everything that I’ve played so far has had such different qualities and assets that to just pick one is...