Dear bassists and friends of the bass,
Happy New Year! And best wishes for a wonderful 2024. In case you were not aware, 2024 is the 150th anniversary of Serge Koussevitzky’s birth. I have organized some special events to honor his achievements and I have been loaned his personal instrument for these events. Please plan on joining us and celebrating Koussevitzky’s legacy.
Who was Koussevitzky? A man of many talents. Some may know him as:
- Notable conductor who led the Boston Symphony for over a quarter of a century.
- Exceptional visionary teacher/mentor founded the Tanglewood Music Center. One of his more famous students was Leonard Bernstein.
- Man responsible for commissioning works from “new composers,” such as Copland, Bartok, Crumb and many others through the Koussevitzky Music Foundation.
- Composer of some very enjoyable solo and ensemble works which are now core repertory to the modern bassist.
- But before any of the above, the first act of Koussevitzky’s life was as a double bass virtuoso.
I am pleased to announce that I have successfully arranged with the International Society of Bassists (ISB) to be loaned the famous Karr-Koussevitzky Bass for performances at our events. This is the same bass that Serge Koussevitzky and then Gary Karr played for many years. It is also one of the world’s most famous and historic basses. This bass is kindly on loan with support and logistical help from the South Coast Symphony and Lemur Music. There are two upcoming events that will feature this bass: an event on March 17th focused on Koussevitzky the bassist and composer, and an April 5th recital focused on Koussevitzky the composer and champion of new music.
Koussevitzky the bassist and composer: March 17th, 3pm, 2024
On March 17th, there will be a master class and performances on the works of Serge Koussevitzky. Bass students will be coached by me, accompanied by Marina Paccowski, and will get an opportunity see, hear and play the Karr-Koussevitzky Bass. At the end of the evening Marina and I will perform some selections as well.
This event is graciously sponsored by the South Coast Symphony, G & L Guitars and Basses, Zimmerman Publications, and is dedicated to the memory of South Coast Symphony bassist Dennis Boeltz and symphony patron Adriana Chirlov. Per seat Tickets at the door are $20; Students are free with ID.
Faculty Recital: April 5th, 8:00, 2024
On April 5th, I will present a faculty recital on the Karr-Koussevitzky Bass at the University of California, Irvine. The program features work composed by, commissioned by, or dedicated to Koussevitzky, including George Crumb’s Madrigals Book I and the premier of 15 Minutes of Fame. Ticket information is available here.
Koussevitzky added an amazing amount to our musical history. Let’s share his 150th anniversary with some great music and experiences. Please mark your calendars and plan on joining us for one or both events.
If you have any questions or would like more information, do not hesitate to write or call me.