Presented at the 2013 ISB Convention by Dennis Whittaker & David Young:
While the aspiring orchestral bassist is commonly exposed to excerpts from the symphonic repertoire, rarely is the student (or professional, for that matter) exposed to the tremendous amount of quality music from centuries worth of Opera works, which is a refreshing source of inspiration. Any orchestral bassist looking for a break from the Beethoven 5 trio and standard orchestral excerpts will enjoy discovering new challenges. Presented by the principal bassists of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, who have grown to conquer and love major passages from such works as Lohengrin, Marriage of Figaro, La Traviata, Albert Herring, and many many others.
Dennis Whittaker studied at Baylor University and Northwestern University with Paul Ellison, Jeff Bradetich, Eugene Levinson, Mark Whitney, and Michael Cameron. In 1987, he won the Gary Karr Foundation National Double Bass competition. He is the principal double bassist of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, is the bass teacher and string area coordinator for the Moore School of Music at the University of Houston, has a full private teaching studio, and is a bass pedagogy consultant. He has been a substitute bassist with the Houston Symphony since 1996, and has also substituted with the Houston Ballet Orchestra, the Houston Sinfonietta, and the River Oaks Chamber orchestra. Additionally, Dennis is coordinator of the Tuesday Recital series, hosted by the Texas Double Bass Symposium, and maintains a presence of master classes, low string festivals, and hosting visiting master classes in the state of Texas. Dennis has performed master classes and performances around the world, and has played at several festivals, including Aspen Music Festival and Festival de dui Mondi in Spoleto, Italy for GianCarlo Menotti’s nintieth birthday. Dennis also freelances, serving in symphonic, chamber, jazz and studio capacities, appearing on numerous CDs with local artists.
David Young is principal bass with both the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. He received a B.M. in Education with Performers Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and a M.M. and D.M.A. in double bass performance from the University of Southern California. His teachers have included Oscar Zimmerman, Peter Mercurio, and Dennis Trembly. He is a former member of the Rochester Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. David is also on faculty at the Colburn School of Performing Arts, teaching bassists privately. There he leads the Colburn School Double Bass Ensemble, a performing bass ensemble group, and he develops and presents citywide bass seminar days called the Bass Masters series. Other teaching involvements include weekly coaching of bassists in the five orchestras at Santa Monica High School. Summers are sent participating with the Golden Gate Bass Camp in the San Francisco bay area and with the Idyllwild Arts summer programs.