by August 31, 2021
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
490 Riverside Drive, 11th floor
New York, NY 10027-5788
(212) 896 1700
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What was is like to audition for Stokowski? When did the bass wheel start trending? And why did Donald Palma drive his bass around in a hearse? Orpheus bassists Jordan Frazier and Donald Palma join their renowned mentor, Orin O’Brien of the New York Philharmonic, for a lively conversation about all things bass.
Concert Duration: 60 minutes
Bassist, New York Philharmonic
by August 31, 2021
Jordan Frazier, bass, has performed, recorded and toured worldwide with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra since 1993 and was appointed a member of the orchestra in 2006. He is a former member of the L’Orchestra Ciudad de Barcelona and currently is a member of the American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra and Principal Bass of the Westchester Philharmonic and Bard Festival Orchestra.
In addition, he has performed as principal bass with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Symphonies, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, NYC Opera, NYC Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Mark Morris Dance Company among others. Equally at home playing period music, he has performed and recorded with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, both in Toronto and at the Klang und Raum Festival in Bavaria. Jordan is also Principal Bass of the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra, in Carmel, CA, where he has performed in the summer since 1996.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Frazier has performed as a guest with Bargemusic, Helicon Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, The Los Angeles Piano Quartet, and the Corigliano, Jupiter, and Daedalus Quartets. Recording credits include Sony Classical, Harmonium Mundi, Nonesuch, London, Decca/Argo, EMI, Koch, Musical Heritage Society, and Deutsche Grammophon.
A native of Cleveland, Mr. Frazier received his musical training at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Manhattan School of Music, and is currently on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music. Jordan lives in Fredonia, NY with his wife, bassoonist Laura Koepke and their two boys, Nicholas and Calvin.
Bassist Orin O’Brien has been a member of the New York Philharmonic since 1966, when Leonard Bernstein was the Music Director. Born in Hollywood of actor parents, she received her early musical training in Los Angeles. She studied with Milton Kestenbaum (principal bass of the Pittsburgh Symphony under Fritz Reiner and member of the NBC Symphony under Toscanini), Herman Reinshagen (for many years associate principal of the New York Philharmonic during the time of Mahler and Toscanini, and double bass teacher at the Institute of Musical Art, later to be Juilliard), and continued her studies in New York with Frederick Zimmermann, graduating as a scholarship student from the Juilliard School.
Before joining the New York Philharmonic she was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra (1956 to 1966) and during that time also performed with Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (including solo bass in first U.S. performances of Ginastera’s Variations Concertantes), the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Musica Aeterna, and many other musical organizations.
She has played with the world’s leading conductors and in numerous chamber music festivals, including the Marlboro Music Festival recordings with Pablo Casals.
She also participated in the first recording and performance of the Gunther Schuller Quartet for Four Double Basses, recordings with the Daniel Saidenberg Little Symphony, and many recordings of symphonic works and film scores. Her chamber music performances have included the quintets of Schubert and Dvořák with the Guarneri Quartet. Ms. O’Brien has given master classes at the Peabody Institute, the Tanglewood Festival, New England Conservatory, and Yale University.
On the faculty of Manhattan School of Music since 1969, she also teaches at Mannes College of Music and is on the faculty of the Juilliard School, where she was co-chair of the double bass department from 1992 to 2002. She has written articles for Stradmagazine, and her Double Bass Notebook, a guidebook for young professionals, was published in 2012.
Manhattan School of Music awarded Orin O’Brien the President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service in 2010. She received the Special Recognition for Teaching Award from the International Society of Bassists in 2011.
Born in New York City, Donald Palma is a graduate of the Juilliard School. Don studied double bass with Frederick Zimmermann, Robert Brennand, Orin O’Brien, and Homer Mensch. A former member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he has also been Principal Bass of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the American Composers Orchestra.
He is a founding member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with which he has toured the world and recorded over fifty compact discs for Deutsche Grammophon including a Grammy Award winning recording of Stravinsky works.
Palma has performed with the Juilliard Quartet, the Nash Ensemble, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Da Camera Society of Houston, the Borromeo Quartet, Bridgehampton Chamber Music, Mistral and in recital with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and Jan DeGaetani. He was music director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and is currently music director of the Symphony-by-the-Sea in Marblehead, MA and the NEC Chamber Orchestra.
Don’s extensive recordings include diverse offerings from works written for him by Elliott Carter and Mario Davidovsky to a Wagner Ring Cycle with the Metropolitan Opera to recordings with Wayne Shorter, Kathleen Battle and rock/pop-icons Roger Waters and Sting.
He has given master classes at the Curtis Institute, the Toho School, the Juilliard School, Rice University, the San Francisco Conservatory, Boston University, the Hartt School, Mannes College and the Manhattan School of Music. Don joined the NEC faculty in 1989 and also teaches at the Yale School of Music. His students occupy positions in major orchestras, ensembles and universities all over the globe.
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Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
490 Riverside Drive, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10027