Robert Nairn teaches double bass, excerpts classes, and bass ensembles, coaches chamber music, and directs the University's Baroque Ensemble. A native of Australia, he received his bachelor of music with distinction from the Canberra School of Music and a post-graduate diploma from the Berlin Musikhochschule by courtesy of a two-year DAAD German Government Scholarship. He has lived and worked in Germany, England, Australia and the United States.
His teachers have included Klaus Stoll, Tom Martin, and Max McBride. He has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He has been guest principal bassist with the Halle Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and principal bass with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
A specialist in historical performance, he has been principal bassist with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society since 2003, and has performed with Concerto Caledonia, the Aulos Ensemble, Rebel, Boston Early Music Festival, the Washington Bach Consort, the English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and for eight years regularly in London as a member of Florilegium. He is a member of the new historical performance faculty at the Juilliard School in New York and a member of Juilliard Baroque. In 2009 he received a Recognition Award for Historical Performance from the International Society of Bassists. His recording of Mozart’s concert aria “Per Questra Bell Mano” with the Handel and Haydn Society and bass Eric Owens has garnered substantial critical acclaim; Gramophone magazine called it “all one could wish for” and Classic FM magazine selected it as its Record of the Month.
International festivals include Salzburg, Baden-Baden, Aldeburgh, Glyndebourne, Schleswig-Holstein, and the London ‘Proms’ under such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Mazur, Sir John Elliot Gardiner, Maris Jansons, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Charles Mackeras, Christoph Eschenbach, Lorin Maazel, Kent Negano, and Franz Brüggen. He has performed at such international venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, La Scala, Le Châtelet, Leningrad Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonie, Teatro Colôn, Konzerthaus and Musikverein (Vienna), and the Sydney Opera House.
He has commissioned and premiered more than forty newly commissioned works for solo double bass and chamber groups and worked extensively with such groups as the London Sinfonietta, Gruppe Neue Musik Berlin, Australysis, the Music Theatre of Wales, and the Sydney Alpha Ensemble. He premiered a new concerto by Barry Conyngham in 2009, and other current commissions include works by Elena Kats Chernin, Michael Berkeley, and Peter Askim. In 2008 he was awarded a Howard Foundation Fellowship to continue commissioning new works by Australian composers. A CD of works by Australian composers is due in fall 2012.
As a soloist he has performed concerti with the Gruppe Neue Musik (Berlin), the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and Darwin and Adelaide symphony orchestras (including Bottesini's "Passiona Amoroso" with Gary Karr), and has given many recitals in Europe, Scandinavia, China, the United States, and Australia.
Nairn was president of the International Society of Bassists in 2009-10, and in June 2009 hosted the ISB convention at Penn State, an event that brought together more than 1,300 musicians from thirty-seven countries for six days.
Requiem in D minor, K626
Ave verum corpus, K618
Per questa bella mano, concert aria, K 612
Handel and Haydn Society, Harry Christophers
Elizabeth Watts (soprano), Phyllis Pancella (mezzo-soprano), Andrew Kennedy (tenor) & Eric Owens (bass-baritone), & Robert Nairn (double bass obbligato)
A SUO AMICO - Music from the Repertoire of Domenico Dragonetti and Robert Lindley
Querelle des Bouffons: Guy Fishman, cello; Robert Nairn, bass; Sarah Freiberg, cello; Daniel Stepner, violin
[includes DVD] [Hybrid SACD] [HYBRID SACD]
Robert Nairn, Jennifer Morsches, Florilegium Musicum Ensemble, Eligio Quinteiro etc.
Includes works by Henry Villca Suntra and Domenico Zipoli.
Label: Channel Classics
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Halle Orchestra (Robert Nairn), conducted by Kent Nagano.
Urban Malmberg, John Aler, Dawn Upshaw, Jose Van Dam etc.