An Artist Member with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Kurt Muroki began his musical studies on the violin and went on to study the Double bass at the Juilliard School of Music. He has been a busy guy ever since.  In addition to playing festivals and concerts, Kurt is also active playing movies, commercials, popular, and classical recordings with titles including the Oscar winning film “The Departed”, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, “Julie and Julia”, “Moonrise Kingdom”, The Who, Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Itzhak Perlman. Mr. Muroki is the new bass professor at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University (in addition to his other duties at Stony Brook University, the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival). Mr Muroki is also a D’Addario Strings Artist and helped develop the Kaplan medium tension bass strings. Kurt plays on a double bass once owned by the famous double bassist Domenico Dragonetti and attributed to Nicolo Amati circa 1665 and a fantastic ergonomic bass by Arnold Schnitzer. 

We’re not sure how Kurt did it, but he had time to answer a few questions.  Here’s your chance to meet him:

What are you looking forward to most this year?
As far as teaching at Indiana University, I am looking forward to every day I am there!  Love Bloomington, my brand new studio in a brand new building, and truly fantastic students!

Mentors and teachers can have a big impact on you throughout your life:
“Really, the most info came when I first started teaching.  Orin O’Brien said to teach how you practice.  It was a very helpful and useful bit of info!  Thank you Orin!  David Soyer said to find the love and joy in music before all other emotions.  My teachers/mentors were David Soyer, Homer Mensch and Stuart Sankey.  I miss them all and wish that there were around.”

Even within his busy teaching and performance schedule, Kurt has a couple of interesting hobbies:
“I am an avid amateur photographer.  My photos can be seen on Facebook.  Also I love to go mushroom hunting.  I carry a big spear and wear camouflage. Them mushrooms are elusive and very dangerous.”

With all the adjustments to a new home, school and more, what helps you to stay calm and balanced in this process?
Bloomington. I love this town and the school. Also Bruce Bransby has been absolutely a joy to work with and is a wonderful friend who loves cars just as much as I do. Also driving my new car has been a ton of fun. My 1st car!!!!!

Kurt’s go-to tools in the studio:
“Many times we think too much.  My best tool is my ear.  Turn off the brain and turn on the ear.  Does it sound good? Also the eyes. where is the student tense?  Most times the upper and lower back.  Tensing up the back keeps us from breathing properly and delivering weight into the string.”

Interview by Kristin Korb