I had a chance this past Saturday (March 1, 2008) to watch a master class hosted by Northwestern University double bass professor Peter Lloyd (fourth from right) featuring longtime Chicago Symphony Principal Bass Joe Guastafeste (pictured here in the center of the group).
Joe has served as Principal Bass of the Chicago Symphony since 1961, serving under Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon, Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim, and Bernard Haitink. Just looking at that list of top-tier conductors makes one realize what breadth of knowledge Joe brings to the table when he conducts a class. He has performed with nearly every prominent conductor and soloist and played the entire breadth of the orchestral repertoire in countless interpretations.
Joe coached me for many years during my own studies, and it was really great to see him offer his wisdom and musical advice to these young Northwestern double bassists. Having attended this institution myself, sitting in good old Regenstein 143 brought back years of personal memories dating back to Jeff Bradetich’s time at Northwestern. It’s great to see Peter continue the tradition of double bass excellence that has long been associated with double bass at Northwestern.
This school has produced countless excellent double bassists over the years, ranging from Max Dimoff (Cleveland Orchestra Principal Bass) to Paul Ellison (Rice University), Hal Robinson (Philadelphia Orchestra), and many others. Even Peter himself spent time studying with both Joe and Warren Benfield (Northwestern’s highly esteemed double bass teacher for many years) for several summers.