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    Wolfe, Lawrence

    Composer, conductor, double bassist and educator who started out on trombone in elementary school but gravitated to his instrument of choice at eleven or twelve years of age.


    He attended public school in Hingham, Massachusetts, where he studied under Myron Thomas.  His other teachers included William Curtis and Leslie Martin.  He auditioned and won a spot in the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.  His conductor, Artin Arslanian, believed in him so much, he arranged a meeting with his dad to encourage him to allow Lawrence to pursue music for a living.  He even went so far as to get Lawrence enrolled in Boston University—without having to audition. 


    Lawrence furthered his education at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he took formal lessons with Gary Karr.  Before graduating from NEC, he auditioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and aced it, becoming the youngest musician in the BSO at the time. 


    In 1981, he assumed the posts of assistant principal bass with the BSO and principal bass with the Boston Pops.  His association with both orchestras led to recordings and solo recitals in venues such as Carnegie Recital Hall, Jordan Hall, Kilbourne Hall, and Symphony Hall. 


    On 26th August 1988, he performed in Schoenberg Hall Auditorium at the University of California in Los Angeles.  The recital was part of the International Society of Bassists’ meeting and included music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Jacob Druckman, Serge Koussevitsky, and Franz Schubert.


    Recordings on which he appears include:  America, Holiday Pops, It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing, The Latin Album, My Favorite Things, Runnin’ Wild, and A Splash of Pops by the Boston Pops; Chris Brubeck:  Danza del Soul/Michael Gandolfi:  Line Drawings/Lukas Foss:  Central Park Reel; 40th Anniversary by John Oliver and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus; Lawrence Wolfe, Double Bass with pianist Jonathan Feldman; and, Virtuoso Trumpet by Charles Schlueter


    On 30th July 2007, he and Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta performed Koussevitsky’s “Two Pieces for Double Bass and Piano” in concert.


    Other groups with whom he has worked include the Boston Radio Orchestra, the Concord Chamber Players, the New England Baroque Soloists, and the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra.


    On 4th April 2008, the New England Baroque Soloists took the stage in Chapin Hall at Williams College.  Their program comprised:  “Brandenburg Concerto No. 2”, “Brandenburg Concerto No. 5” and “Contrapunctus No. 1” from Art of the Fugue by J.S. Bach; “Cello Sonata in A major” by Luigi Boccherini; “Concerto for Two Trumpets” by Petronio Franceschini; “Concerto for Two Horns” by George Frideric Handel; and, the overture from Tafelmusik III by Georg Philipp Telemann.


    In the field of music education, Lawrence has taught at the Boston Conservatory of Music, the Boston University College of Fine Arts, the New England Conservatory of Music, and the Tanglewood Music Center.


    He and three of his fellow bass instructors at NEC celebrated Gunther Schuller’s 85th birthday by performing his “Quartet for Double Basses” at Jordan Hall in the autumn of 2010.


    On 16th January 2011, the Concord Chamber Players interpreted “Septet in E flat major, Op. 20” by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Serenade in C major for String Trio, Op. 10” by Erno Dohnanyi and “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks” by Richard Strauss at the Concord Academy Performing Arts Center.


    In addition to a busy performing, recording and teaching schedule, Lawrence is also a composer.  On 17th September 2011, the Houlihan-McLean Center Performance Music Choral & Instrumental Ensembles performed his “Rejoice in the Lord Always”, with text from Philippians 4:4-8.  The piece was commissioned for the inauguration of the Reverend Kevin Quinn.


    Lawrence actually prefers writing music for specific occasions, and oftentimes they are commissioned.  A few of his other compositions include “Blues and Rondo”, “Freefall”, “Prophecy and Joy” with text by Walt Whitman, “Rhapsody for Trombone and Concert Band”, “Scenes from an Opera”, “Suite Dreams”, “Trumpet Concerto”, “Tryptich”, “Variations on #5”, and “Wildfire”.



    1. http://www.lawrencewolfe.com/lawrence/biograph/biogray.html
    2. http://www.lawrencewolfe.com/lawrence/biograph/biograb.html
    3. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/lawrence-wolfe-q61054/credits/all
    4. http://articles.latimes.com/1988-08-26/entertainment/ca-898_1_lawrence-wolfe
    5. http://www.hbdirect.com/album/173164-john-williams-film-composer-it-don-t-mean-a-thing-if-it-ain-t-got-that-swing.html
    6. http://www.allmusic.com/album/lawrence-wolfe-performs-double-bass-works-by-glire-koussevitsky-schubert-perle-druckman-w65261
    7. http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=52480
    8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z4S9v3ct1E
    9. http://music.williams.edu/node/760
    10. http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2010/10/29/covering_all_the_basses_at_nec/
    11. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/tanglewoodfest
    12. http://classical-scene.com/2011/01/21/kudos-to-putnam-bso-colleagues/
    13. http://matrix.scranton.edu/inauguration/events-concert.shtml
    14. http://www.lawrencewolfe.com/lawrence/biograph/biograc.html
    15. http://www.mikesmasterclasses.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=149









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