Kraft performed with most major Canadian orchestras, including solo performances with the TS, NACO, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, and MSO. He performed as a soloist and chamber musician at the Festival of the Sound, Elora Festival, Music at Sharon, and with many other organizations and individuals, including Jeanne Baxtresser, flute, Rosemarie Landry, soprano, Moshe Hammer, violin, and Daniel Domb, cello. His career became increasingly international after 1988. He played as soloist in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Copenhagen, Antwerp, Dubrovnik, and Prague, where the performances were recorded and broadcast throughout eastern Europe. He also played with the Polish National Radio Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and in England, Spain, Germany, Japan, and the Far East. He conducted workshops, master classes, and guitar pedagogy seminars across Canada and the USA and has appeared frequently as an adjudicator, including jury positions in 1988 and 1991 for festivals of the Guitar Federation of America and in 1986 for the first Canadian National Guitar Competition, which he also organized. He founded in 1989 and directed the annual Toronto Guitarfest. Kraft was featured at such international festivals as Germany's International Guitar Symposium, as well as at Expo 90 in Japan and Expo 92 in Spain.
Kraft toured Canada several times beginning in 1976, performing 50 to 75 concerts annually in small communities with his wife, the pianist, harpsichordist, and RCMT piano teacher Bonnie Silver, with whom he premiered Michael Horwood's Three Cadenzas in 1981. Kraft premiered R. Murray Schafer's Le Cri de Merlin and Tippett's The Blue Guitar (both for solo guitar) at Guitar '87 and Schafer's Guitar Concerto with the Toronto Symphony under Andrew Davis in 1990. The bulk of Kraft's repertoire consists of solo guitar pieces from the 17th to 20th centuries in addition to the concerto repertoire and his arrangements and transcriptions (some published by Waterloo and Frederick Harris) of Baroque and later solo and chamber music. Kraft and Silver arranged many works for guitar and harpsichord.
Kraft also compiled and edited a series of graded classical guitar repertoire, the first of its kind in North America, published by Frederick Harris in 1978 as Classical Guitar Editions, officially adopted by the RCMT in 1980, and expanded by the conservatory thereafter. He also contributed original teaching pieces to the series, created a classical guitar technique book to accompany the repertoire, and in 1983 produced cassette recordings of the RCMT guitar repertoire. He continued to teach at the University of Toronto. His writings appeared in various periodicals, including Classical Guitar, Guitar Canada, Soundboard, and Guitar Toronto. His students included Stephen Brown.
Kraft, who built guitars as a hobby, was considered Canada's leading classical guitarist. He was known especially for his wide dynamic range, his varied use of timbre, his expressive lyricism, and his depth of tone. He helped to make the guitar a serious component of classical music-making in Canada. His appearances on national television included a performance in 1979 of the Villa-Lobos concerto with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, and several appearances on the CBC 'Spectrum' series. He performed in 1983 in the CBC radio series 'The Art of the Guitar,' and wrote and hosted other programs on Canadian, UK, and US radio and TV. Kraft's recordings were rewarded with a 1991 Juno nomination (Guitar Music of the 20th Century) and a 1989 Gramophone Magazine Critic's Choice designation. He signed with the Naxos label in the early 1990s, and in 1994 launched the label's Guitar Collection as producer and artistic director. He recorded and produced a series of compact discs of guitar works at the St. John Chrysostom Church in Newmarket, Ont, between 1994 and 1999. Concurrently, he maintained his status as a sought-after performing artist.
'Aspect of Technique,' Classical Guitar, Oct 1986
'Rencontre avec Paulino Bernabé,' Les Cahiers de la Guitare et de la Musique 73, 2000
Author Durrell Bowman, Betty Nygaard King
The Art of Norbert Kraft. 1998. Naxos 8.550147
Carmen Concerto - 8 Valses Poeticos. Bizet - Granados - Breimer arr. Polish National Radio SO, Breiner cond. Naxos 8.553114
Cavatina: Highlights from the World's Greatest Guitar Collection. 1998. Naxos 8.554400C
Centone di sonate, vol 1 and 2. Hammer violin. 1994-5. Naxos 8.553141 and 8.553142
Duets for Cello and Guitar. Harnoy violoncello. 1983. MMG 1144
Fandango! Boccherini - et al. Silver harpsichord. 1984. Fanfare DFL-6003
Graded Guitar Repertoire Series Recordings. 1983. RCMT/F. Harris (unnumbered cassettes)
Guitar and Harpsichord: Vivaldi - Haydn - Boccherini - Rodrigo. Silver harpsichord. 1991. Chandos CHAN-8937 (CD)
Guitar Concertos. Rodrigo - Castelnuovo-Tedesco - Villa-Lobos. Northern Chamber Orch, Ward cond. 1993. Naxos 8.550729
Guitar Favourites. Albeniz et al. 1997. Naxos 8.553999
Nineteenth Century Guitar Favourites. Sor - Tárrega - Aguado Y Garcia. 1994. Naxos 8.553007
Romantic Works for Guitar. Paganini - Castelnuovo-Tedesco - Ponce. 1992. Chandos CHAN-9033
Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez - Villa-Lobos Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra. Winnipeg SO, Koizumi conductor. 1986. CBC SM-5066/(with Villa-Lobos Preludes) CBC SMCD-5066
Schafer Le Cri de Merlin - Tippett The Blue Guitar - Britten Nocturnal. 1989. Chandos CHAN-8784 (CD)
Sor Guitar Music opp. 1-5. 1998. Naxos 8.554196
Spanish and South American Works for Guitar. 1990. Chandos CHAN-8857 (CD)
Twelve Spanish Dances. Granados. Razumovsky Sinfonia, Breiner cond. 1995. Naxos 8.553037
Villa-Lobos Complete Music for Solo Guitar. 2000. Naxos 8.553987
Schulman, Michael. 'Norbert Kraft: quo vadis?' Guitar Canada, Summer 1988
Harting-Ware, Lynn. 'The art of Kraft, guitarist recording for Chandos,' Music, vol 12, Feb/Mar 1989
Charles, John. 'A Kraft-y classical guitarist,' Edmonton Sun, 15 Nov 1996
Rupp, Shannon. 'Lifelong passion for the guitar,' Ottawa Citizen, 16 Apr 1998