Contrabass Conversations Episode 19 – Interview with Greg Sarchet and music from Catalin Rotaru

Here is this week’s Contrabass Conversations episode! This episode features an interview with double bassist Greg Sarchet (pictured here with Flea). Greg is a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago orchestra and the double bass instructor at Northeastern Illinois University. You’ll hear Greg playing with the Vienna Waltz Ensemble, and at the end of the episode we will feature a track from double bassist Catalin Rotaru. Enjoy!


Show Notes

Release Date: 5/6/07
Length: 35:04

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Interview with Greg Sarchet

Greg’s bio:

Greg Sarchet considers himself fortunate to have had an array of musical experiences and training, from studying with his first teacher, jazz luminary Rufus Reid, to receiving degrees from the Juilliard School (where he was a student of Michael Morgan), to hundreds of television/radio commercial recordings. His strong interest in researching the double bass and ongoing international exchange efforts were recognized by a 1996 Chicago Artists International Program award which sent him to the Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria for performances, masterclasses, and archival research. These and other exchange activities have allowed him to build an extensive library of unpublished, out-of-print, and contemporary double bass works, as well as a first-hand understanding of Europe’s leading teaching methods.

Since 1986, he has been a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra. Additionally, he frequently serves as Principal Bass with Chicago Opera Theater and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra. He maintains a limited private studio for high school and adult pupils.

Briefly, his musical foundation was laid by his first double bass teachers, Rufus Reid and Todd Coolman. The musical values and priorities they, among others, instilled in him have led him to a wide variety of professional opportunities ranging from recordings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller, Smashing Pumpkins, and hundreds of television and radio commercials.

Greg Sarchet maintains a great double bass website called Bass Club Chicago. I have been visiting this site for years, and it is full of great information, photos, and more.

Check out the bass family tree from Greg’s site. It is quite interesting!

Greg will be featured on a few tracks in this episode from his recordings with the Vienna Waltz Ensemble. Visit them online at

To purchase any of the Vienna Waltz Ensemble’s albums, please visit their product page.

Music from Catalin Rotaru

Catalin’s bio:

Catalin Rotaru, double bass, joined the School of Music at Arizona State University, in 2005. Mr. Rotaru is in demand as a performer and clinician throughout the world. He is a licentiate of the National University of Music from Bucharest, Romania, and holds a Master’s degree in music performance from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Previously he was Associate Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, taught at Millikin University, and at the University of Illinois. He has performed both solo classical and jazz bass throughout Europe, the United States, South America and Japan. He served as associate principal bass in the Romanian National Radio Orchestra, principal bass in the Sibiu Philharmonic Orchestra, Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra of Bucharest, Danville Symphony Orchestra, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, associate principal and principal bass in Sinfonia Da Camera, and principal bass of the Orchestra Sinfonica Europea. Mr. Rotaru performs extensively as soloist in recitals or with symphony orchestras throughout the United States and abroad and gives numerous clinics and master classes. He received the second prize at the 1997 International Society of Bassists Competition and the Jury’s Special Award for the best performance of the required piece at that competition. He was the winner of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Debut Recital Award in 1997, and received the Central Illinois Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters Award in 1996. For the last several years, Professor Rotaru has been a frequent solo performer at the International Chamber Music Festival of Pernambuco in Brazil.

Visit Catalin online at his Arizona State University faculty page.

Music played:

Brahms Sonata for Cello and Piano No.1 in E Minor, Op. 38 mvt 3(Allegro)


· Bass*ic Cello Notes
· Catalin Rotaru
· Summit Records
· (Classical)

Street Release: Mar 13, 2007

Bass*ic Cello Notes

Download “Sonata for Cello and Piano No.1 in E Minor, Op. 38” (mp3)
from “Bass*ic Cello Notes”
by Catalin Rotaru
Summit Records

More On This Album

We’ll wrap up today with a song from Mark Gunn called Wild Kitty from his album “Irish Drinking Songs for Cats”.

About Jason

An active double bass performer and teacher, Jason teaches double bass at DePaul University and served on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Bassists for many years. Jason is the current President of the Illinois chapter of the American String Teachers Association. Jason has been a member of the Elgin Symphony since 2000 and has played with the Midsummer’s Music Festival in Door County for the past decade. He is a past member of the Milwaukee Ballet and IRIS Orchestra, and has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony, and numerous other professional ensembles.

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