In the early 1990s, some of Graham’s most personal works in the realm of concert music struggled to line up with the right spaces, presenters, and funding. Alongside Peter Stopschinski, another composer-bandleader that was a part of the burgeoning rock and punk scene of Austin, Graham began to apply the collective creation and self-production methods of the rock scene to the world of classical music. Golden Hornet formed, starting with Six Pieces for String Quartet (1999), performed by Tosca String Quartet. Collaborations with Austin Lyric Opera, Glenn Kotche, local high school orchestras, and many others followed, ranging from percussion pieces to Shostakovich. Graham and Peter produced, curated, and commissioned all of the works, including Mozart Requiem Undead (2014), resulting in over 150 artists performing, with contributions from DJ Spooky, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Caroline Shaw, and many others.
In 2008, Golden Hornet received official 501(c)3 designation and has since grown in capacity, as well as become more clarified in mission: one of commissioning new music, fostering young and emerging composers, and presenting adventurous works in non-traditional settings.
Graham continues as Golden Hornet’s Artistic Director today. Within the past year, the organization has reached over 1500 audience members, contracted over eighteen local musicians, commissioned work from seven celebrated composers, and fostered the commissioning of five new works. Upcoming endeavor The Sound of Science, features works from the likes of Paola Prestini, Yuka Honda, Maja S.K. Ratjke, Felipe Pérez Santiago, and Foday Musa Suso.