Each night at ISB 2017, we all come together in one room to enjoy more #basslove. Come early to the concerts to hear various announcements and competition results.  We also give a number of awards throughout the week, so make it a part of your plan to arrive about 30 minutes before concert time.

Below, we’d like you to meet our Thursday headliners by hearing them play.  It is going to be one heck of a week!

Rex Surany

A Philadelphia Minute (2012) by Ryan Olivier – World Premiere

Rex Surany is the new Principal bass of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He is also working as an assistant teacher in cooperation with Harold Robinson, the Principal Bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra, at the Juilliard School.

His musical education began with piano lessons when he was 7 years old. After two years of piano, he switched exclusively to double bass with Robert Peterson of Trenton, New Jersey. In 2002, upon completing the Vance repertoire with Peterson, Rex then started to study Rabbath Method with Nicholas Walker, double bass Professor at Ithaca college, and joined the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra under maestro Joseph Primavera’s direction.

Rex’s first year of college, in 2006, was spent at The Colburn School in Los Angeles. There he studied with David Moore and Paul Ellison. After a year, he was admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music, where, in addition to studying double bass, he found and pursued interests in composing, transcribing, and arranging that continue today.

A few weeks after graduating from Curtis, in May 2012, Rex became a temporary member of the New York Philharmonic with Alan Gilbert as Music Director. While Rex was working at “The Phil”, he spent a lot of his relief and vacation time traveling to Berlin to study the Berlin Philharmonic tradition and German bow technique with Matthew McDonald and Janne Saksala; first principal basses. After two years of working in New York, studying in Berlin, and auditioning in North America, Europe, and even Scandanavia, Rex finally won his first audition for a section position at the Metropolitan Opera in 2014. And only one year later, he won the principal position.

Rex has won numerous accolades in both solo and orchestral bass realms. In June 2009, he was awarded 2nd prize of the ISB (International Society of Bassists) Orchestral Competition. The following summer, he was and the 3rd prize-winner of the 2010 Bradetich Foundation International Solo Competition. In 2011, Rex was the 2nd prize-winner at the ISB Solo competition. Rex has performed with many orchestras including: the Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Haddonfield “Symphony in C”, the Boston Symphony, the American Ballet Theatre, the New York Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan opera. He has given master classes and recitals at Ithaca College, Brigham Young University, and Fort Lewis College.

Christian McBride


A Day in the Life of Christian McBride

Four-time GRAMMY®-winning jazz bassist Christian McBride can be likened to a force of nature, fusing the fire and fury of a virtuoso with the depth and grounding of a seasoned journeyman. Powered by a relentless energy and a boundless love of swing, McBride’s path has described a continuous positive arc since his arrival on the scene. With a career now blazing into its third decade, the Philadelphia native has become one of the most requested, most recorded, and most respected figures in the music world today.

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