Monthly Archives: October 2014

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Bassist Kevin Jablonski performs on famous bass!

Kevin and the GK bass

Come hear NSO bassist, Kevin Jablonski, in a solo recital on Nov. 9 at 7:30 PM at Second Presbyterian Church in Green Hills. He’ll be playing one of the most famous basses in existence, the Karr-Koussevitzky bass, which was owned by both Gary Karr and Serge Koussevitzky. Here’s what he has to say about the instrument and the upcoming recital. “The bass was thought to have been made at the end of the 18th century in France, and Koussevitzky purchased it there in 1901. Shortly thereafter, Koussevitzky went to Berlin to study conducting (which of course would lead to his great tenure as conductor of the Boston Symphony), and it was there where he met fellow conducting student, Reinhold Gliere. They formed a friendship, and Gliere ended up writing four pieces for bass and piano, dedicating some of them to Koussevitzky. Around the same time, Koussevitzky wrote his own collection of four pieces for bass and piano, and I’m incredibly excited to pair these two collections together on my recital. Koussevitzky would doubtlessly have been composing and playing both these pieces on the very instrument I’ll be using. In 1962, Serge’s widow, Olga, heard the NY debut recital of rising double bassist Gary Karr. Olga saw the ghost of her husband embrace Gary during the recital and was moved to give Serge’s bass to him as a gift. After an unparalleled career forging new territory by showcasing the bass as a solo instrument and inspiring countless other bassists along the way, Gary gave his last public recital at the International Society of Bassists (ISB) convention in 2001. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance that night, and it was an experience I’ll never forget. Gary’s playing was incredible, and I remember the tone of the instrument was like nothing I’d ever heard before. Three years later, Gary generously donated his bass to the ISB, a society he actually founded, so that bassists around the world would be able to see, hear, and play the iconic instrument. Its slow tour across the world has brought it to Nashville for a little while, and I’m truly honored to have the opportunity to perform on it in concert. In addition to the Gliere and Koussevitzky, I will also be performing Bottesini’s Elegy and Bach’s iconic Prelude to his Cello Suite No. 1. The talented Megan Gale will also join me on piano for the program. I hope you can join me for this event and the unique opportunity to hear this historic instrument.” Admission is free, so invite your friends!

Gary Karr Kevin J

Guest Musician from the Atlanta Symphony

Last week, we were fortunate to have Atlanta Symphony bassist Joe McFadden join our ranks for our performances of Strauss’s Alpine Symphony. We fully support the Atlanta Symphony Musicians as they enter the 8th week of a crippling lockout. Let’s hope our colleagues in Atlanta can once again perform great music for their audiences in the very near future.

Joe McFadden

Joe McFadden

Violinists and TV stars!

After our annual Music for the Mission concert, a few of our violinists had their pictures taken with Eric Close and Chip Esten of the TV show Nashville – left to right, Chip Esten, Kirsten Mitchell, Mary Katherine VanOsdale, Kristi Seehafer, Isabel Bartles, Beverly Drukker, and Eric Close.

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Legends of Music concert – Yo Yo Ma

Yo Yo Ma played with us in our first Legends of Music concert October 1. He performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with us, and for an encore played a cello duet written by our own Matthew Walker. It was a great concert!

Matt Walker & Yo Yo Ma

Matt Walker & Yo Yo Ma

Anthony Lamarchina & Yo Yo Ma

Anthony Lamarchina & Yo Yo Ma

Gerald Greer & Yo Yo Ma

Gerald Greer & Yo Yo Ma

Xiao-Fan Yang & Yo Yo Ma

Xiao-Fan Yang & Yo Yo Ma

Stephen Drake & Yo Yo Ma

Stephen Drake & Yo Yo Ma