James VanDemark just celebrated his 40th year of teaching at the Eastman School of Music. His students have held positions with many of the world’s major orchestras, including the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minnesota, San Francisco, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Rochester Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Oregon Symphony, and the orchestras of Syracuse, Buffalo and Wichita.
We dig into many topics, including:
- boxing and what it has done for James as well as his students
- the experience of being a principal bassist of a professional orchestra at 17
- how he came to join the Eastman faculty in his early 20s
- studying with cellists like Paul Katz and Leonard Rose
- learning how to play for a bigger hall – lessons learned from Leonard Rose
- learning how to vary sound and color to blend in or to project out
There’s also a great feature on Backstage Pass from Classical 91.5 celebrating James and his 40 years at Eastman.
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