Born and educated in Glasgow, Scotland, Graham Tagg started violin lessons when he was seven. In 1965, he entered the Royal Scottish Conservatory of Music and Drama, and in 1966 he switched from violin to viola. After graduating, he joined the Scottish National Orchestra as Assistant Principal Violist, where he remained for five years. He then moved to Iceland for three years as Principal Violist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra, where he also performed many chamber works, solo broadcasts, and taught at the Reykjavik Conservatory of Music.
In 1976, Graham came the rest of the way across the Atlantic to Canada, to join the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra as Assistant Principal Violist. After 18 years, he left to freelance throughout Canada, the US, and Europe. In 1998 he came to Lethbridge from Toronto.
In addition to serving as Principal Violist with the Lethbridge Symphony, Graham has been an integral part of the Musaeus string quartet, and the wider Lethbridge music community. He has also taught violin and viola, as well as fiddle classes at the University of Lethbridge Conservatory of Music, and regularly performed with the Symphony of the Kootenays and many other ensembles.
When he’s not repairing string instruments, practicing and rehearsing, or otherwise refining his craft, Graham can often be found on one of our area’s many lovely golf courses, or just enjoying a quiet afternoon with a book – but no Scotch, please; this Scotsman prefers Guinness!
In his twenty seasons with the Lethbridge Symphony, Graham has been an integral part of the great artistic strides made by the ensemble. The repertoire has ranged from works composed for school groups attending Feel the Beat, to great orchestral achievements, such as Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, countless chamber pieces – whether as part of the Musaeus string quartet, or on his own – and more than one performance of his favourite Requiem by Mozart, with several different groups.
A top-calibre musician, Graham prefers the challenges of leading within an ensemble and is always happy to include his fellow musicians in his quest for excellence. We were lucky to get him all those seasons ago, and it has been our honour to have him be part of our Symphony family these two decades. His strong leadership, consummate artistry, dry humour, and kind understanding have been mainstays of our orchestra, and he leaves rather large shoes to fill.
We thank Graham for everything he has done for our community, and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement, well-deserved after 20 years of enriching the fabric of the Lethbridge area, and five decades of contributions to the world of live classical music.