After a long hiatus, the International Society of Bassists re-launched its Research Competition in 2014. The competition is in keeping with the ISB’s mission to advance scholarship pertaining to the double bass.

The ISB called for previously unpublished papers reflecting a high quality of scholarship in a wide variety of disciplines relevant to the double bass. Topics could cover any number of different perspectives or disciplines, such as historical musicology, classical or jazz performance practice, pedagogy, lutherie, iconography, biography and/or analysis, and could also deal with subjects stemming from any period in the instrument’s history up to the present.

There was a professional category and a student category with one winner for each category. Authors submitting papers in the professional category are scholars and/or practitioners who are finished with their formal institutional studies and have embarked on a professional career. Authors submitting papers in the student category must be enrolled in an academic program on the graduate student level and actively pursuing completion of a post-undergraduate degree as their primary focus.

The prize in each division is $500, publication in the Online Journal of Bass Research (OJBR), and an invitation to the winners to present their research at the 2015 ISB Convention, to be held June 1-6 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Papers were adjudicated anonymously by a three-member panel. The members of the adjudication panel were: Andrew Kohn, Associate Professor of String Bass and Music Theory at West Virginia University; Andrea Beckendorf, Associate Professor and Research and Instruction Librarian at Luther College; and Research Competition Chair Jeremy Baguyos, Associate Professor of Music Technology and Double Bass at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


Winner, Professional Category

Beethoven, the Viennese Violone, and the Problem of Lower Compass – By Stephen Buckley

Stephen Buckley has lived in Scandinavia since 2002, when he worked with orchestras in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. He has played in the Copenhagen Philharmonic since 2003. He has also played with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden, and also freelances with several ensembles. Dr. Buckley won the 2004 Ludwig Sperger Double Bass Competition, and has also been a soloist in the ½12 Chamber Concerts in Copenhagen. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder and a master’s degree and doctorate from Rice University.

Honorable Mention, Professional Category

Lino Jozé Nunes’s 1838 Methodo:
Historical, analytical and editorial aspects of an Afro-Brazilian double bass jewel –
By Fausto Borém

Fausto Borém is senior professor at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil, where he created Per Musi (the country’s leading journal of academic music) and the Graduate Music Program, and teaches double bass, chamber music and music research. He has premiered significant new double bass works in the US, Europe and Brazil, and edited and published dozens of double bass transcriptions and scholarly articles on the instrument. He has won numerous prizes in Brazil and internationally for his accomplishments as a soloist, composer and theorist. As a specialist in Brazilian music, he has been featured as a recitalist and lecturer at ISB Conventions since 1983. Fausto Borém composes, arranges and plays with Trio Musa Brasilis, an ensemble centered around the double bass with the help of voice, piano, percussion and theatrical elements.

Winner, Student Category

Examination of mid-nineteenth century double bass playing based on A. Müller and F.C. Franke’s debate in the Neue Zeitung für Music, 1848-1851 – By Shanti Nachtergaele

Shanti Nachtergaele started playing bass in 6th grade after four years of piano study and two years on the violin. She studied under Greg Brucker and Tom Derthick and was a member of the Davis Jr. High and High School Orchestras, the Sacramento Youth Symphony Premier Orchestra, and the Camellia and Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestras. She was also selected to the California Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra for three consecutive years. Shanti is a student at Shenandoah Conservatory, where she studies with Dr. Donovan Stokes.