Dragonetti was once asked by a student which was better, a bass with 3 strings or 4 strings. He answered that, while it is nice to have low notes in the orchestra, in general he gave his unreserved preference to a bass with 3 strings. Most of Dragonetti’s solo output is intended for the 3-string bass, and he used it when he performed in orchestras, even during world premieres of Beethoven symphonies. This program will examine the advantages of the 3-string bass, through the lens of Dragonetti’s solo work (such as the Waltzes and the Second Concerto), pieces written for him (such as the Novello and Rossini), and how he solved problems in orchestral writing (focusing on Beethoven 5). A lecture that will change your mind about both Dragonetti and how many strings you have on your bass!

Doug Balliett is a prolific musician whose career has spanned performance of classical, new and early music, composition, rap, rock, and conducting. As a bassist he has performed as solo or principal bass with Ensemble Modern, the San Antonio Symphony, the Metropolis Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Handel & Haydn Society, Arcadian Players, Talea Ensemble, Pink Martini, and many more. As a member of the band Oracle Hystericalhe and his collaborators have presented hip-hoperas, art rock song cycles, rap cantatas, and other genre-bending works all over America and Europe. His series of rap cantatas based on Ovid have been gaining attention in New York. Doug co-hosts a radio show, The Brothers Balliett, with his twin brother on New York City WQXR’s Q2 new music channel.