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Exploring the Music of Composer/Double Bassist Edgar Meyer

January 11, 2023
Jim McGuire
Composer and double bassist, Edgar Meyer

Double bassist Edgar Meyer takes the stage January 17, 7:30 PM in Alice Tully Hall with the Dover Quartet to present a concert of works including his own Quintet for String Quartet and Bass (1995).

Hailed by the New Yorker as "the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively un-chronicled history of his instrument,” Edgar Meyer’s uniqueness in the field was recognized when he became the only bassist to be awarded the Avery Fisher Prize and a MacArthur Award.

His most recent recording is Not Our First Goat Rodeo with Stuart Duncan, Aoife O’Donovan, Yo-Yo Ma, and Chris Thile.

Meyer was honored with his fifth Grammy Award in 2015 for his Bass & Mandolin recording with Chris Thile. His compositions have been premiered and recorded by Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Hilary Hahn, and the Emerson String Quartet, among others. The Nashville Symphony and the Aspen Music Festival and School commissioned his first purely orchestral work, which was premiered by the Nashville Symphony in March 2017. Additionally, Bravo! Vail and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields commissioned an Overture for Violin and Orchestra that was premiered by Joshua Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in June 2017.

"As a composer, Mr. Meyer has carved out a remarkable and unique niche in the musical world. One of his most recent compositions is the Double Concerto for Double Bass and Violin which received its world premiere July 2012 with Joshua Bell at the Tanglewood Music Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Meyer and Mr. Bell have also performed the work at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Aspen Music Festival, and with the Nashville and Toronto symphony orchestras. In the 2011-12 season, Mr. Meyer was composer in residence with the Alabama Symphony where he premiered his third concerto for double bass and orchestra. Mr. Meyer has collaborated with Béla Fleck and Zakir Hussain to write a triple concerto for double bass, banjo, and tabla, which was commissioned for the opening of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. The triple concerto was recorded with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin and featured on the 2009 recording The Melody of Rhythm, a collection of trio pieces all co-composed by Mr. Meyer, Mr. Fleck and Mr. Hussain. Mr. Meyer has performed his second double bass concerto with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and his first double bass concerto with Edo de Waart and the Minnesota Orchestra. Other compositions of Mr. Meyer’s include a violin/piano work which has been performed by Joshua Bell at New York’s Lincoln Center, a quintet for bass and string quartet premiered with the Emerson String Quartet and recorded on Deutsche Grammophon, a Double Concerto for Bass and Cello premiered with Yo-Yo Ma and The Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa, and a violin concerto written for Hilary Hahn which was premiered and recorded by Ms. Hahn with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra led by Hugh Wolff." (quote from artist's website)