Saturday, December 19, 2015

Adventure Into My Past

In December, 2015, I made a road trip to Ann Arbor to attend the Bat Mitzvah of Eleanor Mills, who is currently living in my birth home at 1339 White St. I made friends with the Mills family several years ago when--thanks to social media--they contacted me and told me they were the current occupants of my original birth home. Apparently, the last person living on the block where I grew up and resided until 1963 provided the Mills family with an Ann Arbor News article from the early 1960s about the musical Graf family which included a picture of me and my parents, Otto and Sarah. My subsequent correspondence with Sari Mills resulted in my visit to 1339 White and a tour of the house several years ago. This walk-through was an amazing trip into the past for me and a wonderful confirmation of continuities in my life, which I will always treasure.

Some months ago, I received a message from Sari Mills informing me that flute sounds were again resounding at 1339 White, because her 12-year old daughter, Eleanor, was playing the flute. She then invited me to attend Eleanor's Bat Mitzvah celebration in Ann Arbor. It was my pleasure to attend the ceremony at which Eleanor performed beautifully. I felt warmly-welcomed by the Mills family at the after-party and thoroughly enjoyed our repartee.

This is the type of experience that makes life worthwhile for me. I shall never forget it.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

My memoir has been published in book form and for download!

                                           Click here for ordering information

Here are some accolades:

I very much enjoyed reading Erich Graf's memoirs.  Besides being an outstanding musician, flutist, and builder of miniature ships, Erich Graf is very articulate and an outstanding writer. There are rare people we meet in life whom we know will be our friends, no matter the ups and downs. Erich and I have had that rare sort of friendship going back to our days at Juilliard. Erich's memoirs give us a real glimpse of musical life as an orchestral flutist. He takes the rose-colored glasses off to give the reader a true picture--the good, great, the bad and the ugly. A wonderful read--I  highly recommend it! 
Paul Fried—former Assistant Principal Flutist, Boston Symphony; Principal flutist, New West Symphony; International recording artist and studio musician

Your book is a fascinating tour of the life that is of course yours and yours alone.   However it is also a glimpse into what could be the lives of many extraordinary artists in the late 20th Century, how they developed and managed to find a way to express themselves during a difficult time in the history of music in America.  It is well written, touching, revealing and thankfully humorous. 
Lewis Kaplan--violinist, Aeolian Chamber Players; violin faculty, Juilliard School; former director, Bowdoin College International Music Festival 

Erich Graf is a human being of utmost warmth and generosity, and his honest memoir reflects that. Older flutists can enjoy his successes and empathize with his frustrations; younger ones can learn from both. All of us can be grateful to him for sharing his story. 
John Wion—former principal flutist, New York City Opera, former faculty member, Hartt College of Music, author

I have known Erich Graf for many years. A most accomplished and experienced professional flutist, he has an illustrious career spanning many decades as a distinguished artist of solo repertoire, chamber music and in top US orchestras. But he also was and is a dedicated unionist, leading the American Federation of Musicians' Salt Lake City Local #104 for 17 years. His dedication to his art and unionism is exemplary, therefore incoming generation of musicians will benefit greatly from his experience and wisdom. I look forward to reading these memoirs. 
Nathan Kahn-Negotiator
AFM Symphonic Services Division

Thank you so much Erich!! What a thrill to finger thru your amazing life story. How inspiring this is for me in my own struggle to figure a convincing way to tell mine - if at all.....I'm deeply admiring your careful wording, your generosity (SL !!) {sic: Salt Lake) and wonderful informative style throughout.....High 5!!!!
After finishing your texts I'm sitting in deep awe, profoundly touched by your so touching unfolding of your background stories, your becoming a man, a mature musician, your parent's farewell, your strong, steady service to mankind. I'm shaken - because now I'm encouraged by your masterful life-scenery to finally begin to express the loss-experiences of my family-story thru the years....and may find a similar humble and clear form and wording. Yes. we all are orphans having to say goodbye to our parents...and struggle to overcome that unique, so very special grief in one’s life, and do carry it throughout until our last day.... How simply deeply you're writing ! What an honor for me that you let me see it! Thank you for that sharing ! My best to you -Matthias 
Maestro Matthias Kuntzsch
Internationally-known Music Director, Conductor and Scholar