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    Levy, Benjamin (1980 – Present)

    Double bassist from Cooperstown, New York, who was raised in Colorado, where he studied with David Potter at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village.  He also participated in the Aspen Music Festival, where he took lessons from Stuart Sankey.  His other instructors were Paul Ellison, Timothy Pitts, and Todd Seeber.  He furthered his education at the New England Conservatory and Tanglewood Music Center.  In 2002, he graduated from NEC with a Bachelor of Music degree and won a position with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2003.  Other groups with whom he has worked included the Borromeo String Quartet, Collage New Music, and the Hawthorne String Quartet.

     

    On 16th April 2004, he delivered the Falmouth Forum lecture in the Lillie Auditorium at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  Its subject:  “Covering All My Basses:  How I Became a Professional Musician”.

     

    He and other members of the BSO performed the pre-concert recital at Ozawa Hall on 4th August 2006.  Their program comprised “Adagio, K. 80” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Divertimento in C” by Michael Haydn, and “Piano Quintet in A, Op. 81” by Antonin Dvorak.  The main event featured soloist Yo-Yo Ma giving the world premiere of “Azul” by Osvaldo Golijov and playing “Cello Concerto in C” by Franz Joseph Haydn.  These were sandwiched between “Idyll” by Leos Janacek and “Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36” (“Enigma”) by Sir Edward Elgar.

     

    On 31st March 2007, he and fellow BSO musicians offered up traditional Irish and Latin songs at Bethany Congregational Church in Quincy, Massachusetts.

     

    He was part of the prelude concert once again on 25th July 2008 that shone the spotlight on chamber works by John Corigiliano, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Gioachino Rossini.  This was followed by a wall-to-wall Johannes Brahms concert that featured David Zinman conducting “Piano Concerto No. 1”, with Yefim Bronfman at the keys.

     

    On 6th October 2008, he and cellist Mickey Katz, harpsichordist John Gibbons and violinist Masuko Ushioda appeared at NEC’s Jordan Hall where they interpreted “Brandenburg Concerto No. 5” by Johann Sebastian Bach.  The evening was rounded out by Olivier Messiaen’s “Le Merle noir” and “Quartet for the End of Time”.

     

    He gave a master class at the International Society of Bassists convention, which was hosted by Pennsylvania State University, on 10th June 2009.

     

    On 5th October 2009, he returned to Jordan Hall for a performance of J.S. Bach’s “Wedding Cantata”.  This was the centerpiece of a concert that also included Giovanni Gabrieli’sCanzon primi toni”, “Canzon septimi toni No. 2” and “Sonata pian’ e forte”, and Mozart’s “Quintet in G minor, K. 516”.

     

    Television viewers may have heard him performing on the soundtrack of An American Experience.  He also appears on the Thomas Oboe Lee recordings, Music for Strings and Pluto… Lord of the Underworld!.

     

    In the field of music education, he has taught at the Boston Conservatory and Boston University College of Fine Arts.

     

    He is also a barbecue aficionado who just might tempt your taste buds with his recipes for slow-smoked pork shoulder and baby-back ribs.

     

    Hungry for more?  Check out his chapter in Double-Bassist Introduction, available from LLC Books.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Levy_%28double_bassist%29
    2. http://www.collagenewmusic.org/BenjaminLevy.html
    3. http://www.bostonconservatory.edu/bio/benjamin-levy
    4. http://www.mbl.edu/news/press_releases/2004/2004_pr_3_18.html
    5. http://www.iberkshires.com/printerFriendly.php?story_id=20558
    6. http://www.osvaldogolijov.com/nnd15.htm
    7. http://www.fanfaire.com/musicplanner/mass/bso07_mar.html
    8. http://rogovoy.com/news1620.html
    9. http://www.borromeoquartet.org/artist.php?view=cal&cid=2403
    10. http://www.worldcat.org/title/first-monday-at-jordan-hall-october-5-2009-800-pm/oclc/451168015
    11. http://classical-scene.com/2009/10/06/first-monday-is-25/
    12. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/weshallremain/behind_the_scenes/episode_1_full_cast
    13. http://www.amazon.ca/Double-Bassist-Introduction-Slatford-Herbert-Tommaso/dp/1157464343
    14. http://home.comcast.net/~thomas.o.lee/CD.html
    15. http://www.bu.edu/cfa/music/faculty/levy/

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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