This week’s Contrabass Conversations episode features an interview with and music from Chicago Symphony bassist Rob Kassinger. Rob’s musical interests span many genres and include both the electric bass and the double bass. You will learn about Rob’s early years on the bass and how working in jazz and rock settings led to an interest in orchestral double bass playing in this fascinating interview.
This episode also features Rob playing the first movement of the Breval Sonata in a live performance, and it includes a track from NYCO, a rock band that Rob was a member of for several years. You will be hearing People We Knew from their recent album “Two”. You can purchase “Two” by following this link.
CBC 25: R. Kassinger interview
Release Date: 6/17/07
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News and Notes:
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Today’s Guest – Rob Kassinger
Member of Chicago Symphony bass section
Bass Professor at DePaul University in Chicago, IL
Robert Kassinger was appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1993. Prior to Chicago, Rob performed as assistant principal bass with the Colorado Symphony and also played with the New Orleans Symphony.
In addition to his busy schedule with the Orchestra, Rob is an active chamber musician. He performs with the Revolution Ensemble, the Orion Ensemble, Fulcrum Point, Ars Viva, Music of the Baroque, the Callisto Ensemble, MusicNOW, and broadcasts on WFMT and WTTW. Most recently he has been a featured guest with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and has performed Schubert’s Trout Quintet with Daniel Barenboim. In July 2006, Rob served as double bass professor at the Canton International Summer Music Academy, led by Charles Dutoit.
Rob grew up in a family of musicians in Boulder, Colorado. He began his bass studies with Frank Carroll at the University of Colorado. In 1985 he moved to New York to study with Homer Mensch at the Manhattan School of Music, where he received his bachelor of music degree. Rob then pursued his master’s degree at the Juilliard School, continuing his studies with Mr. Mensch. He later went on to study with Bruce Bransby at Indiana University. Some of his most influential experiences as a student were his two years as principal bass of the New York String Orchestra Seminar, conducted by Alexander Schneider, and the two summers he spent as a fellowship student at the Aspen Music Festival, studying with Stuart Sankey and Bruce Bransby. In 1989 Rob was the winner of the Aspen Double Bass Competition.
Rob’s experience as a jazz performer dates back to his early teens, working in the house rhythm section at the infamous Denver jazz club El Chapultapec, and over the years he has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Kenny Burrell, the Woody Herman band, Conte Candoli, Charlie Rouse, Teddy Edwards, Harold Land, Red Holloway, Charles Brown, Art Lande, Richard Stoltzman, Gary Burton, Alex Acuna, Laurence Hobgood, and Bobby Lewis. In 1998 and 2000, Rob toured India with the Chicago Jazz Express, and he can be heard on their recordings Voyage to India and The Rhythm Section. He also appears on Bobby Lewis’ latest CD, Just Havin’ Some Fun. In addition, Rob is featured on Daniel Barenboim’s Brazilian Rhapsody on the Teldec label, and Kabbalah Blues/Quantum Funk by the Revolution Ensemble. Rob’s latest project has given him a chance to spend more time with the bass guitar. His alternative rock group NYCO has released its debut album Two, available through nycomusic.com and at Itunes.com.
Rob is professor of double bass at DePaul University. He is also in demand as a coach and master clinician, serving in this capacity for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, the Juilliard School, and the Mannes School of Music. In the summers of 1999 through 2002, it was Rob’s honor to teach at the West-Eastern Divan, a ground-breaking workshop that brings young musicians from Israel and various Arab countries together to study orchestral music with Daniel Barenboim, Yo-Yo Ma, and members of the CSO, Berlin Philharmonic, and Staatskapelle Berlin.
NYCO – People We Knew from “Two”
Breval Sonata mvt 1
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