We are featuring Bruce Bransby on today’s show. Bruce has been professor of double bass at Indiana University for three decades and has taught bass players who now hold positions in major orchestras worldwide. Bruce has also been a faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival for this same length of time. Prior to that, he served as principal bass of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Kansas City Symphony.
Bruce is also an outstanding soloist, composer, and arranger, and you’ll be hearing an excerpt from his arrangement of the Valentini Cello Sonata at the beginning of the episode, and we’ll conclude today with Bruce’s own Valse for double bass and piano, which he composed under the pseudonym Rolande E. Curb (Curb is Bruce spelled backwards).
We feature more music from Bruce in the bonus content for this episode, and you can access that material from the Contrabass Conversations app. Just click on this episode and choose ‘bonus.’These compositions and arrangements can be purchased from Lemur Music (Theme, Prelude, and Valentini links) or the String Emporium website. Enjoy, and check out this link to learn more about the Performer Diploma in Orchestral Studies offered by the Jacobs School–most graduate double bass students are choosing this option at IU.
Bruce Bransby was principal double bass with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1978-1986) under Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Andre Previn, and was principal double bass with the Kansas City Symphony (1971-1978). He studied with Nat Gangursky, Peter Mercurio, and Stuart Sankey.
Professor Bransby performs widely as soloist and chamber player and has premiered numerous works, including several concertos for the double bass. While in Los Angeles, he was active in studio recordings for motion pictures and television.
He was a faculty member at California State University Northridge, the University of Missouri at Kansas City, the California Music Center, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, and has been a performing member of the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival since 1987. His students hold positions in many of the world’s finest symphony orchestras.