Medinea On Air
Matej Grahek (1974, Slovenia) has been the principal flautist of the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra since 1997. He has been teaching at the Ljubljana Conservatory of Music and Ballet since 1999; and a year later, he became Assistant Professor at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana. He was appointed as Associate Professor in 2017.
Grahek completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Ljubljana’s Academy of Music under the instruction of professor Fedja Rupel, while spending two years improving his skills in a class led by the world-renowned flautist Irena Grafenauer at the Mozarteum University Salzburg. He was awarded first prize at the Slovenian Competition for Young Musicians five times during his studies, while in 2001, he was one of the finalists at the European Broadcasting Union competition in Bratislava. Moreover, the ArtVento wind quintet, which he cofounded, was placed in the top eight best quintets in the 2006 ARD International Music Competition in Munich. As the principal flautist of the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra, Grahek has performed with a number of highly acclaimed conductors such as Carlos Kleiber, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Sanderling, Sir Neville Marriner, Serge Baudo, and others. In the year 2013 and 2014 he has performed with violinist Richard Tognetti and other members of Australian Chamber Orchestra in “Maribor Music Festival” in Slovenia.
Lately, Grahek has performed flute concertos by Jean Rivier and Andre Jolivet as the solo flutist for the seasonal repertoire of the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also devoted much of his attention to jazz with solo projects featuring The Slovene Radio and Television Big Band. He has performed as a solo flutist or in a chamber ensemble in Austria, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, Hungary, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Japan, Oman, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and the USA.
Grahek has helped release ten music records; five of these were his own solo projects. He was presented with the prestigious Zlati petelin (Slovenian Grammy award) for best chamber music in 2000 for his Opus di Jazz album that was produced by the ZKP Radio and Television Slovenia record label. His solo album Night Birds, featuring The Slovene Radio and Television Big Band, was released by the ZKP label in 2003. A compilation of solo concertos and performances with the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra, presenting flute concertos by Rouse, Arnold, and Lazar, was released in 2005. The Society of Slovene Composers released a record of new compositions for the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra wind trio (Grahek, Kotar, Mitev) in 2007. He has also collaborated with the renowned Croatian guitarist Tvrtko Sarić in 2008 on an album for the biggest Croatian record label Aquarius Records. That year also marked the release of another ArtVento wind quintet album for the German label Whoopee Records. In 2013, Grahek published Mozart’s quartets for flute and strings. He also collaborated with composers Ivo Petrič, Vito Žuraj, Lojze Krajnčan and Aleš Rendla for their respective albums.
In his spare time, Grahek plays with accomplished jazz artists such as Jaka Pucihar, Aleš Avbelj, and Aleš Rendla as a member and founder of the Chicharito Jazz Quartet.
Most of his free time he spends on sea, sailing. In December 2019 he sailed Atlantic ocean and in pandemic time Covid -19 he edited and released a book called A Diary of a little musician on the great Ocean.