BASSics and Ballet Music: Edgar Meyer on Double Bass
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The last date listed for BASSics and Ballet Music was Saturday April 8, 2006 / 8:00pm.
Quotes & Highlights
“In Meyer’s expressive hands, the bass was immediately transformed into a soaring, lyrical swan.” —Democrat and Chronicle
“Edgar Meyer is a soul that has decided to locate itself in a bass." —LACO principal bass Susan Ranney
“The impression [Edgar Meyer’s concerto] gives is of a lot of instruments having fun, with the soloist accomplishing prodigious feats along the way. With its palpable physicality, the bass seemed more Mr. Meyer’s partner than his tool … His versatility should be celebrated.” —The New York Times
Delight in American genius with the ballet Copland wrote for Martha Graham and the unique fusion of classical, bluegrass and other traditional styles that mark Edgar’s Meyer’s amazing compositions. For his ballet on a commedia dell’arte plot, Stravinsky drew inspiration from music by early 18th century masters Pergolesi and Gallo.
Jeffrey Kahane: *conductor & piano
*Edgar Meyer: double bass
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite
Edgar Meyer: Double Bass Concerto No. 2 (2006 version, west coast premiere)
About Edgar Meyer
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra guest artist — double bass
Prominently established as a unique and masterful instrumentalist, Edgar Meyer delights his audiences both as a vibrant performer and as an innovative composer. Hailed by The New Yorker as “the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument,” Meyer’s unparalleled technique and musicianship, in combination with his gift for composition, have brought him to the fore, where he is appreciated by a vast, varied audience. His uniqueness in the field was recognized by a MacArthur Award in 2002.
Fruitful collaborations are the cornerstone of Meyer’s work. The recently released Music for Two is the latest collaboration with banjoist Béla Fleck and features live performances from the duo’s tours together from October 2001 to September 2003. The album Short Trip Home, released in fall of 1999, was nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best Classical Crossover album, and the group (Meyer, Joshua Bell and others) was subsequently invited to perform live at the 42nd annual Grammy Awards. To further explore his talent in a variety of musical genres, Meyer’s vast musical interests have also led him to be sought after as a guest bass player for an assortment of recording artists, such as Garth Brooks, Bruce Cockburn, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Hank Williams, Jr., Emmylou Harris, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, T-Bone Burnett, Reba McIntyre, the Indigo Girls, Travis Tritt and the Chieftains.
As a classical bassist and composer, Meyer has written many works for bass, including his Concerto in D for Double Bass and Orchestra, Double Concerto for Cello and Double Bass, and Quintet for Bass and String Quartet. He has performed with many orchestras including the Boston Symphony, Nashville Symphony, and San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival Orchestra. He has also appeared as a frequent guest at the Aspen, Tanglewood, Caramoor, and Marlboro music festivals.
An exclusive SONY artist who is ever involved in imaginative projects, Meyer and colleagues Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O’ Connor have been widely acclaimed for the Sony releases of Appalachia Waltz and Appalachian Journey. The latter won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album. Meyer has performed with the LA Chamber Orchestra in concerts, family concerts, the orchestra’s education program for 4th – 6th graders (Meet the Music), and at the 2004 Bach to Bluegrass concert gala.
About Jeffrey Kahane
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Music Director
Jeffrey Kahane – photo by Annie AppelA native of Los Angeles, Jeffrey Kahane was warmly welcomed in 1997 as the fifth Music Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Renowned as a pianist and conductor, he is recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of diverse repertoire from Bach to Gershwin. He has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist equally sought after as soloist, conductor and chamber musician. Jeffrey is also the music director of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the artistic director of the Green Music Festival in Sonoma County. Jeffrey served as the music director of the Santa Rosa Symphony from 1995 to 2005.
Performing at the highest level as a soloist, he has maintained his reputation as a pianist “versatile in styles, superior in technique, unlimited in horizons” (Los Angeles Times) since he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1983. Since then, Jeffrey has given recitals in many of the nation’s great concert halls including New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He appears as a soloist with leading orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic and the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra. Jeffrey is equally well known for his collaborations with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, and Thomas Quasthoff, and he often appears with leading chamber ensembles such as the Emerson String Quartet.
Jeffrey made his conducting debut at the Oregon Bach Festival in 1988 and since then, he has made many successful guest conducting appearances with orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Camerata Salzburg, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in London, and with Royal Philharmonic of Galicia in Spain. In addition, he appears annually as both pianist and conductor at the Oregon Bach Festival, and has also been conducting at the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival since 1992.
Recent highlights of Jeffrey’s career have included his highly successful conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic, return engagements conducting the Houston and Seattle Symphonies, performances of Copland’s Piano Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony, and a recital of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations to benefit the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. LACO audiences can look forward to another benefit recital by Jeffrey in April 2005. In the summer of 2003, Jeffrey performed all five Beethoven piano concerti over two consecutive nights at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra to great acclaim, a project that he repeated at Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony last summer resulting in rave reviews.
His recordings include works of Gershwin and Bernstein with Yo-Yo Ma for Sony, Paul Schoenfield’s Four Parables with the New World Symphony conducted by John Nelson for Decca/Argo, the Strauss Burleske on Telarc with the Cincinnati Symphony under Jesus Lopez-Cobos, and the complete Brandenburg Concertos (on harpsichord) with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra under Helmuth Rilling on the Hänssler label. He has also recorded the complete works for violin and piano by Schubert with Joseph Swensen for RCA, Bach’s Sinfonias and Partita #4 in D major for Nonesuch, and Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety for Virgin Records, which was nominated by Gramophone magazine for their Record of the Year award. As a conductor, Jeffrey has recorded music by Ned Rorem for BMG Classics with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. A new recording of the complete set of Bach violin concertos with Hilary Hahn and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jeffrey, was released on Deutsche Grammophon to great acclaim in September 2003 [more details].
Jeffrey has received much recognition for his innovative programming and also for his commitment to education and community involvement. His instigation of a family concert series in both Los Angeles and Santa Rosa has attracted wider audiences to the classical concert halls in both cities. Dedicated to working with young musicians, in 1991, Jeffrey co-founded the Gardner Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble of outstanding students and recent graduates of the major schools of music in the Boston area, and served as Artistic Director and Conductor from 1991-1995.
A First Prize winner at the 1983 Rubinstein Competition and finalist at the 1981 Van Cliburn Competition, Jeffrey Kahane has also been honored with awards including the 1983 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the first Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award in 1987.
A native of Los Angeles, Jeffrey’s early piano studies were with Howard Weisel and Jakob Gimpel. Jeffrey is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and currently resides in Santa Rosa, California with his wife Martha and their daughter Annie. Their son, Gabriel, is a singer/songwriter and composer in New York City.