Stephen McDougall Graham
Stephen McDougall Graham received his first violin at age six from a garage sale. As a precocious scholarship student with working-class roots, Stephen quickly discovered in this violin his lifelong joy in music. His natural ability quickly led to private lessons, youth orchestras, and concerto competitions. Despite this early, intense love affair with music, Stephen eschewed conservatory, earning a BA in music and philosophy from Bucknell University, where he led the orchestra as concertmaster. Though he never stopped playing after graduation, he feared he had missed his chance at a music career. He instead went on to earn a Master of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and achieved his current position as a grant specialist at a leading global women’s health nonprofit.
In 2013, however, Stephen finally acknowledged to himself that he was neglecting his life’s great passion and began to transition into the professional music scene. Since the 2014/15 season, he has performed regularly with The Chelsea Symphony, also serving on its board. He has performed at Merkin Hall and the 92nd St YMCA, Shalin Liu Performance Center, and most recently returned to the Weis Center to perform with the Bucknell University orchestra. Stephen’s playing can be heard on the album The Great Northwest, featuring members of the indie band, Lucius, and can be seen very briefly in Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle, seasons 2 and 3. In August, Stephen began graduate studies at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He is thrilled to be giving his New York City soloist debut with TCS.