Today’s episode features double bassist David Murray. David is on faculty at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, and has been on the board of the International Society of Bassists for past two decades. The former winner of the ISB solo competition, David is known around the world as a soloist and clinician. He is also a member of the Bad Boyz of Bass, a quartet rounded out by Volkan Orhon, Anthony Stoops (a former Contrabass Conversations guest), and Paul Sharpe. We actually featured the Bad Boyz on episode 71 of the podcast back in 2008, which is well worth a listen if you haven’t checked it out before!
We talk about David’s experiences having Gary Karr as his first bass teacher, where the “Karr sound” came from, focusing on bow technique, the spirit of Koussevitzky, his long relationship with the International Society of Bassists as a former competition winner and longtime board member, traveling with a bass, and several other topics.
We also feature the title track from David’s solo album Vocalise, and we conclude the episode with a recording of David playing the first movement of the Franck Sonata from his Sonatas by Franck and Shostakovich album. Both the Vocalise album and the Sonatas album are available through the ISB Web Store. I’d also encourage you to check out David’s performance of the B.B. Wolf by Jon Deak. It’s a great piece and David knocks it out of the park!
David Murray has an international reputation as a solo bassist and teacher. He is currently Professor of Bass at Butler University in Indianapolis and Principal Bassist ofthe Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He also plays as Principal Bassist with Sinfonia da Camera in Urbana, Illinois, and at the Bear Valley Music Festival in northern California. Before coming to Indianapolis, David was Instructor of Bass at West Texas A&M University and principal with the Amarillo Symphony.He has been a member of the Dallas Chamber Orchestra and also toured twice with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.
David’s first private teacher was bass virtuoso Gary Karr, with whom he studied in high-school and at the Hartt Music School, University of Hartford, in Connecticut. Summers were spent at Tanglewood and the Aspen Music Festival, where he worked with Stuart Sankey. At Aspen, he won the 1981concerto competition. In Los Angeles in 1988 he won the International Society of Bassists (ISB) Solo Competition, the first prize being a solo debut at Carnegie Hall. David has made solo appearances, both in recital and with orchestra, and given clinics and masterclasses throughout the United States, his native Canada, and in South Korea, Brazil, Israel, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal,Denmark, Germany, and Holland. He has performed at several summer chamber music festivals including Scotia Festival, Killington, and Cape May. In June, 2001,David hosted the ISB convention at Butler University for 800 bassists from 27countries and is currently a Past-President of the ISB. He has been published in the ISB journal, Double Bassist magazine, the Suzuki Association of America journal, and American String Teachers journal. He has recorded three solo CD’s(most recently in 2012), a duo CD with bassist Diana Gannett, is a founding member of the bass quartet Bad Boys of Bass with whom he released a CD in 2006,and he released a DVD of theater music in the spring of 2003.
“…to hear David Murray play it, the string bass is a vastly and unjustly neglected instrument. Murray…became a prime spokesman for the instrument.”
“…Murray is a top-notch player.”