Gary Karr, acclaimed as "the world's leading solo bassist" (Time Magazine)
is, in fact, the first solo doublebassist in history to make that pursuit a
full-time career. It is a career that adds new lustre to his already
lustrous 1611 Amati doublebass which was given to him by the widow of Serge
Since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, Karr
has performed as soloist on six continents with orchestras, including the
Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic,
Montreal Symphony, Simon Bolivar Orchestra (Caracas, Venezuela), Jerusalem
Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and with all the
major orchestras of Australia.
On Italian cable, three Karr doublebass recitals reached 20 million
classical music lovers. The numerous CDs that Gary Karr has recorded and
released in Japan are "top of the recording charts" favourites in the Far
East. The BBC has featured two video films of Karr, one an illumination of
his life and music (Amazing Bass)
and one a series for children. On his
third recording with the London Symphony Orchestra, Karr performed the
Concerto for Bass
by John Downey. CBS Sunday Morning
Gary Karr's career
and the University of Wisconsin has released a video
demonstrating his instructional approach to the doublebass (BASSically Karr)
in addition to a special video concert for children (Karrtunes)
One of Karr's proudest achievements is the Bronze Medal he received from the
Rosa Ponselle Foundation which recognizes him as an outstanding lyrical musician.
Gary is the proud holder of the 1997 Artist/Teacher of the Year Award
from the American String Teacher's Association (ASTA). He also holds the Distinguished Achievement Award
(1995) from the International Society of Bassists (ISB). Gary Karr participated in the Bi-Annual Rainforest Concert
in Carnegie Hall with fellow-bassist Sting, Stevie Wonder and others in 1997.
To repay in kind the gift of Koussevitzky's 1611 Amati doublebass, Gary Karr
planned the Karr Doublebass Foundation, Inc. The
non-profit organization set out in 1984 to amass its own legacy for
musicians. The first aim of the organization is to loan instruments of
significant professional quality to appropriately qualified bassists who
apply to compete for these awards. In time, funds to commission music for
solo bass will also be part of this legacy, as well as Gary Karr's personal
collection of music and instruments, including Gary Karr's Amati, of the legend.
In 1999 a new book by Claude Kenneson, entitled Musical Prodigies -- Perilous Journeys, Remarkable Lives
was released by Amadeus Press, which includes a passage describing Karr's early love affair with the doublebass.
Bio courtesy of GaryKarr.com