The following event will take place this Sunday (11/15/09) as part of the Barry Lieberman and Friends series. Be sure to check out our Contrabass Conversations interviews with Barry Lieberman as well as Barry’s previous interview episode with Gary Karr.
An Afternoon with Gary Karr, Part II
Gary Karr, considered by many to be the most iconic double bassist of our time, returns to the School of Music for Part II of an extensive interview with Barry Lieberman. The interview format will employ historical recordings by Karr as well as performance by Karr and his musical partner, Harmon Lewis. Part I of the interview, conducted by Barry Lieberman in 2007 in Brechemin Auditorium, may be viewed at YouTube.com
DATE & TIME
Sunday, November 15, 2009
$10 (cash or check at the door 30 minutes prior to the performance)
About Gary Karr
Although he comes from seven generations of bassists, he was not encouraged by them to go into music. In an interview with ActiveBass magazine he said that he has no contact with the professional bassists in his family.
His major teachers include Herman Reinshagen and Stuart Sankey, with whom he studied at the Aspen Music Festival and the Juilliard School. Karr’s breakthrough came in 1962, when he was featured as a soloist in a nationally televised New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concert, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. On that famous telecast, Karr performed “The Swan” from Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns. He has since appeared as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Simon Bolivar Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and with all the major orchestras of Australia. He has premiered new works written for him by Gunther Schuller (Concerto for Double Bass), Hans Werner Henze (Concerto for Double Bass), Vittorio Giannini (Psalm CXX), Alec Wilder (Sonata for Double Bass and Piano and Suite for Double Bass and Guitar), John Downey (Concerto for Double Bass), Ketil Hvoslef (Concerto for Double Bass), and Robert Xavier Rodriguez (Ursa, Four Seasons for Double Bass and Orchestra.
He has taught double bass on the faculties of the Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Yale University, Indiana University, and North Carolina School of the Arts and has published a number of instructional books for the double bass. He focuses on finding one’s unique sound on the double bass and approaching one’s playing with the lyrical emphasis of a singer.
After 40 years as a concert artist he retired in 2001 to Victoria, British Columbia, where he lives with his dog Shin-Ju.