Bertram Turetzky

Bertram Turetzky ( born February 14, 1933, Norwich ( Connecticut ) ) is an American bassist, who has worked as a virtuoso, music teacher, composer and improviser. Turetzky is considered a key figure in the rediscovery of the double bass as a solo instrument in classical music. He has worked in many genres, from music of the Renaissance and Baroque music on the Viennese classical and contemporary music to klezmer, world music and jazz.

Life and work

Turetzky grew up in Connecticut. He was initially impressed by the jazz and studied music history to the master at the University of Hartford, where he first played in the symphony orchestra and an assistant professorship held. In 1964 he presented his first album, on which he performed works of the American composer George Perle, Edgard Varèse, Donald Martino, Kenneth Gabburo, Ben Johnston and Charles Whittenburg. As a virtuoso he also appeared the concert stages of the United States, Latin America, Europe and Australia, from symphonic framework to the solo concert. Since 1955, his numerous compositions for double bass were dedicated, as of Iannis Xenakis, Donald Erb and Michael Finnissy. For his own compositions, which also provide the double bass in the center, he has received awards.

In addition, he worked with Charles Mingus ( for his own album New Music for Contra Bass, 1976). In recent years, he published a series of recordings with musicians of Modern Creative and improvised music such as George Lewis, Vinny Golia and Wadada Leo Smith, but also his wife, flutist Nancy Turetzky. On the Total Music Meeting 2003 he performed with Richard Teitelbaum and Anne LeBaron.

Turetzky taught as a professor at the University of California, San Diego. His students include Mark Dresser (now holding his professorship ), Mario Pavone and Karl EH Seigfried.

Turetzky is the author of the standard work The Contemporary Contrabass and co-editor of the book series The New instrumentation. He also wrote an introduction to Pops Foster's autobiography.

Discography (selection)

  • Contra bassist Advance FGR -1, 1964.
  • The Virtuoso Double Bass, Medea Records, 1966.
  • The New World of Sound, Ars Nova, 1969.
  • The Contemporary Contrabass (music by John Cage, Ben Johnson, and Pauline Oliveros ), Nonesuch Records, 1969-70.
  • Dragonetti Lives, Takoma Records, 1975.
  • A Different View ', Folkways Records in 1982.
  • Bertram Turetzky / Vinny Golia Intersections 9 Winds label, 1990.
  • Second Avenue Klezmer Ensemble, Traditions and Transitions Second Avenue in 1992.
  • Compositions and Improvisations 9 Winds Records, 1993.
  • Pacific Parable, Orphan Records in 1993.
  • Wadada Leo Smith, Vinny Golia, Bertram Turetzky Prataxis 9 Winds Records.
  • Barre Phillips / Bertram Turetzky / Vinny Golia Trignition 9 Winds Records, 1998.