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German bow teachers-Grad school

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by .matthew e wengerd., Oct 12, 2004.

  1. I am planning on entering grad school in Autumn 2006. I would like to get a teacher who plays german bow to allow me to work on some of the more kinesthetic, nuanced aspects of the german bow.

    Yes, I know I could learn just as well from a french bow player. I've spent my entire career as a student with french bow players and am still learning TONS from my current teacher. I just really feel that a german bowing teacher can address issues less understood by an exclusively french player.

    That said, my main criterion for a grad school is that it must be in the midwest/east coast. I want to get far away from Florida. I guess I should also add that I am looking for a school with a good graduate assistantship program and, obviously, good ensembles and learning/gigging opportunies.

  2. newchibass


    May 21, 2004
    I would think Bruce Brandsby at IU or Rob Kassinger from the CSO who teaches at DePaul here in Chicago. I have heard that Todd Seeber is really good out in Boston, too.
  3. billybass


    Oct 14, 2003
    New Orleans
    I went through a similar problem also. In addition to the teachers already mentioned there is Chris Hanulik in LA, Orin O'brien in NY and Paul Ellison at Rice. Mark Morton is an excellent German bow teacher but I do not know if he teaches at a school that offers a masters degree. There are many schools out there. Get the best teacher you can afford.
  4. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Greg Sarchet in Chicago. He teaches at a few schools in Chicago area.
  5. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    Jack Budrow- Michigan State, Last I heard...

    All the others mentioned are great too.
  6. G-force


    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    I know it's corny but... when the student is ready the teacher will appear...
    How about europe, get a Fullbright and study with a real " German"... rather that than a "butler" bow guy...
  7. when the student has a family that he has to worry about moving to a safe location with a good school system, good jobs, and a reasonable amount of "community," it behooves the student to plan ahead.

    The truth of the matter is I can never afford some of these schools that do not offer assistantships and rarely offer full rides (still need a job to support the family after that). I'm going to grad school partly because I didn't get enough in my undergrad. I started double bass late and had crappy ensembles and an unsopportive department once I did get rolling. I'm behind and probably won't be blowing anyone away at an audition (yet I will still try (and practice) as hard as I can).

    At this point, I really need to make sure I am planning with more interests than just mine in mind. That's why I want to take time next summer to visit the communities that may yield a good teacher/school or two. And that is why I ask :)
  8. I had a GREAT experience at Indiana University with Bruce Bransby. Former Principal in Los Angeles, pretty intense guy.
    All lessons are audio and video taped; you're expected to go home and re-live the lessons.

    A couple years with Bransby and I was audition ready... I came into my MM degree not even knowing what to expect to get an orchestra job... when I left I was able to teach far better from digesting all Bransby's ideas, and I got accepted into New World Symphony in Miami, then within 5 weeks I won a Job!

    IU kicks butt! The teachers, the whole bass-major environment, the school...Just go look at the "audition winners" thread, and count the number of recent IU grads who got BIG jobs!

    There are six regional orchestras near IU that draw heavily upon IU students for gigs. I made about $12 k a year playing in weekend orchestras; got tons of experience above and beyond the six student orchestras that IU boasts.
  9. Beyond IU, which is perfectly centrally located for taking all sorts of major auditions without having to buy an airline ticket every time, here are some places to go for great grad school audition training with "German Bow Players":

    Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
    Bruce Bransby
    -Former Principal, LA Phil

    Univ. Southern California, Los Angeles
    David Moore
    -LA Phil section

    Rice University, Houston, Texas
    Paul Ellison
    -Former Principal, Houston

    Also, try a search on talkbass.com - this thread has shown up elsewhere, too.
  10. Does anyone know anything about Paul Johnson at Peabody and Towson? He's principal of the Baltimore Opera and a German player.

    Baltimore seems like a pretty happening place with The State University, Towson, and Peabody all there.
  11. I have heard mixed things about Paul. A few guys from IU wen to brevard and studied with him for the summer and said he had some good things to say and some strange things. But peabody is an expensive school. IU is much cheaper than Peabody. But you can't go wrong with Jack Budrow at Michigan State and they have a lot of assistantships there. Also Eastern Carolina University has a great teacher Lenny Finkelstien principal of North Carolina....ask mike about him
  12. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    That was the main reason I mentioned Jack. They have assistantships... He is also a wonderful teacher.

  13. Leonid Finkelshteyn ("Lenny") is a very nice person, and definitely helpful to work with. (He also teaches at Eastern Music Festival). ECU also is cheap, and they might have lots of $$ for basses...being a lesser known school and all...
  14. bordobijeli


    Sep 22, 2005
    not sure if you were planning coming overseas.
    here in Germany(Freiburg) Bozo Paradzik is the man :)
    After studing in NY for 6 years with varius teachers i decided to move to Europe and study with what's to my ears the best player to ever play our instrument.
    who knows of his playing knows what i am talking about. :)
  15. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski Supporting Member

    May 13, 2005
    I have Bozo's CD Double Bass; Elephant or Swan? It's great stuff, espically the bottesini and the (live!) gliere.

    Now I know a lot of people here have their opinions from experience and otherwise, but I think you might want to consider Levinson, espically if you're also interested in Orin O'Brien.

    Anyone who goes into his studio will come out a pretty solid bass player but if he method really clicks with you the results are unbeleivable. He would be very willing to give you a lesson if you where out in NY, drop me a PM or email and I can hook you up with contact info.
  16. I studied with Paul from 1995-2001...he was actually the reason I ended up in Baltimore! He's an amazing teacher with a *huge* command over the opera lit in particular. I understand the 'strange' comment someone made earlier in the thread...Paul pushes his students much differently than other teachers I've known. He's a very deep guy and uses the bass to teach more than just music.
    Note: I'm a French bow kinda guy, so I can't really comment on his German teaching techniques other than the semester I spent stealing his bow trying to decide if I wanted to switch :)

    Drop a line if there's anything else i can answer...
  17. Comrade Lewis

    Comrade Lewis Guest

    Jun 20, 2004
    Athens, Ga
    how come no-one has mentioned don palma at new england conservatory. he is the only full tim teacher there and from what ive heard is a great teacher. ??
  18. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    Todd Seeber. He teaches at NEC and BU. An absolutely amazing player, a nice guy and a dedicated teacher. His level of commitment to the music is really exceptional.
  19. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    I studied with Lenny at Eastern Music Festival this previous summer, and he was amazing. And I am a french bow player. Chris Hanulik (UCLA) is my teacher right now, and he is a great teacher, assuming your playing style is aggressive. LA is a fun city, not cheap, but fun. I go to school up in the hills, so I commute every week for a lesson. Now, why am I stuck with all the german bow players. Oh, one thing about ECU is that greenville is a place you would want to check out before you live there. Some people I know love it, some hate it. I don't like it much personally, but my home is Charlotte, which is much different.
    Best of Luck
  20. kraid


    Apr 11, 2003
    I can also recommend Jack Budrow at Michigan State. He's an incredibly nice person and a great teacher. You'll learn a lot from him. His bow technique is pretty flawless and he also plays french. He's always used the two and has great technique on both of them.

    At Juilliard there's Orin O'Brien and Eugene Levinson, but if you're a german player I don't know if I can recommend going there. The two do not get along from what I've heard and they get their students involved in their problem. If you were interested in studying with Orin it may be better to go to Manhattan to avoid the conflict. I don't think either are bad people on their own but together they're just not enjoyable to be around and it's causing a mess in the bass department at Juilliard.

    Also at Manhattan is David Grossman, who plays german and is currently in the New York Philharmonic. He's a student of Levinson and Linda McKnight so I would probably image his playing to be the same deal as Levinson but with some things picked up from Linda. Linda also plays german in addition to playing french and I can't recommend her enough as she's my teacher, but I see her mostly with french students even if she plays both. David Grossman also teaches at Rutgers but that may be as expensive if you're out of NJ. Linda also teaches at NYU, Columbia, and Montclair, but again, expensive schools.

    Homer Mensch plays both bows and still teaches at Mannes and Juilliard even though he resigned from Manhattan, but the people around here say he's not in good health. I would very much like to meet the man, but at this point he's in a wheelchair from breaking his hip and has a 24/7 nurse that lives with him in his apartment. I don't think time is on his side. Also at Mannes is Marji, but I know none of her students so I can't say one way or the other about her as a teacher.

    James VanDemark at Eastman plays german, I'm pretty sure. I'll probably meet him in about two weeks when I go up to Rochester. I'm trying to organize a lesson so I'll let you know how it turns out if he contacts me back saying it's a go.