Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Midwest Young Artists Hosts Chicago Bass Fest
This past weekend, about a half hour before the New York Giants and New England Patriots kicked off Super Bowl XLVI, Chicago Bass Festival III was wrapping up the their faculty recital at Bennett Gordon Hall and another successful day for Chicago area bass players, educators and enthusiasts.
The festival featured 19 bass clinicians, representing a large swath of Chicago area schools and performing institutions. Some of those include DePaul, Roosevelt, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Iowa, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and several more. The clinicians led a total of 27 master classes, technique classes, performance classes, talks and performances for the more than 40 bassists in attendance.
Some of the highlights of the day included a performance by the Chicago Bass Ensemble where they premiered Autogenous Mining by Michael Wittgraf, a piece for four basses and interactive electronics – Engineered and orchestrated by the composer using a Nintedo Wiimote and a laptop on stage. Two pieces at the final recital that delighted were a fast paced and energetic performance of the Passacaglia by Handel, arranged by Johan Halvorsen originally for violin and viola, but performed by Han-Jui (Henry) Chen on bass (playing the viola part) and Elias Goldstein on viola (playing the violin part). Both performers are on faculty at Ball State University – and a flawless interpretation of Francois Rabbath’s thrilling and ethereal Poucha Dass by University of Iowa professor Volkan Orhon.