Gary Karr

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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 Koussevitzky.

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 celebrated 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.

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    Musicians: Musician Websites · 2477 Hits · Posted on 4/27/2000 by ActiveBass

I published a feature about Gary Karr
Jun 4 2000

Up Close And Classical with Gary Karr
Active Bass member Laurence Mollerup interviews world-renowned solo double bassist Gary Karr.
<font color="#003333">Laurence Mollerup: Hello Gary, It's an honour to be interviewing you for the ActiveBass website. I know there have been some incredible highlights in your career like your debut with Leonard Bernstein and the NY Philharm...(more)