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Sara Carina Graef

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Sara Carina Graef

Biography

Sara Carina Graef is an American composer and educator.

She earned her Bachelor of Music in flute performance and composition from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Southern California.

Sara Carina Graef’s music has been performed around the United States as well as in Canada, Turkey, Hungary, Austria, Mexico, and the Czech Republic. She was awarded the inaugural Northridge Composition Prize for her orchestral score, night shows to my eyes the stars, and won the Premio Citta’ di Pescara Composition Competition in Italy for her piano solo, Nottanosti. She was the recipient of the Sadye J. Moss Endowed Musical Composition Prize and the Hans J. Salter Award for Composition, and was elected to membership in Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda. She has held residencies at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Ucross Foundation, the Ragdale Foundation, the Hambidge Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Ernest Bloch Festival, and the Oregon Bach Festival Composers’ Symposium. In the summer of 2014 she served on the faculty as composer-in-residence at the Luzerne Music Center in New York.

Other notable performances include her commission from the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Cooling in the Peppermint Wind, which has been performed by both the NMSO and the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, Softly Dancing from the Polar Sky and U.S. Patent No. 821,393 FLYING MACHINE. O. & W. Wright, both for symphonic wind ensemble, as well as an arrangement of Cooling in the Peppermint Wind for symphonic wind ensemble. In addition to concert music, she has music-directed and composed music for various film, live theater, and television projects.

Dr. Graef is a professor of music at California State University, Los Angeles. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in flute performance and composition from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the University of Southern California. She served as the president of Friends of Music at Cal State L.A. for eight years, helping to raise money for scholarships for Cal State L.A. music majors, and has served on the board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Composers Forum.

Dr. Graef teaches composition as well at all levels of undergraduate and graduate theory and analysis, musicianship, form, and counterpoint. She founded the Composer/Performer Collective at California State University, Los Angeles in 2012. The group consists of student composers and performers, engaged specifically to collaborate and learn about the process of creating new music through mutual cooperation, discussion, rehearsal, and performance.


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