Michael Graubart

Michael Graubart was born in Vienna in November 1930 and went to England as a refugee when his family fled the Nazi regime in 1938. He studied physics at Manchester University, but spent most of his time there composing and playing the flute. He graduated in 1952 and worked as a development engineer in electronics at EMI for several years and then as a teacher and lecturer in maths, physics and music in a secondary school, in various polytechnics and colleges and on an American air base while studying composition with Mátyás Seiber, flute with Geoffrey Gilbert and conducting with Lawrence Leonard, playing the flute and conducting various amateur and professional choirs and orchestras.

In 1966 Graubart became a tutor and conductor, and from 1969 to 1991 the Director of Music (Head of the Music Department), at Morley College in London, an adult education college noted for its music department whose previous Directors of Music have included Holst and Tippett. He also worked as Musical Director of Focus Opera Group, conducting many first performances, and held the post of Adjunct Professor of Music at the London campus of Syracuse University (USA).

From 1991 to 1996 he was a Senior Lecturer in the School of Academic Studies and Director of Akanthos, the College's contemporary-music ensemble, at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, taught in the Extra-Mural Department of Manchester University and conducted choirs in the North.

His compositions have been performed and broadcast in Britain, the USA, Canada, Austria and Italy by performers such as the Arditti Quartet, the BBC Singers and Katharina Wolpe. He has edited early music and has written numerous articles and reviews for Composer, Encounter, Tempo, Musical Times, Acta Mozartiana, Music & Vision Magazine and The International Journal of Musicology. He conducted the first UK performance of The Emperor of Atlantis by Viktor Ullmann.

He retired from full-time teaching in 1996 but continued to lecture, compose, write and teach groups of adults privately.

He also participated in regular seminars on modern European philosophy, and listened to music, read, visited art exhibitions (especially of twentieth century and contemporary art) and walked, preferably in hill-country.

On 14 May 2019 the Exilarte Center in Vienna dedicated a portrait concert to Graubart, as part of its Echo of the Unheard concert series, and this took place in the composer's presence.

Michael Graubart died in London on 10 June 2024, aged ninety-three.


Articles by Michael Graubart

A Remembrance Concert in Clapham

Piano music by Erik Chisholm. '... effortless technique ...'

Articles about Michael Graubart

Classical music news - June 2024 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month

Profile. Landmark Collaborations - A personal reminiscence of British conductor Lawrence Leonard, by Keith Bramich