The College of Arts and Architecture

Robert Nairn, double bass; with guest artists John Moore and Heidi von Bernewitz

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Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 2:00pm

Free Admission

The Faculty Recital Series features performances by the school's artist-teachers in the intimate setting of Esber Recital Hall. This afternoon's performance features 21st-century music for double bass by American, Australian, and Scandinavian composers. Faculty member Robert Nairn is joined by bassist John Moore (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra), violist Heidi von Bernewitz, and Svetlana Rodianova, piano.

Note: There is a Penn State football game scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on September 21. Alternate traffic patterns will be in place, and parking will be limited. Please plan extra time for your travel. All parking areas on the University Park campus will be staffed to collect a $20 event parking fee, but the School of Music has arranged for this fee to be waived for our patrons. Please use the Nittany Parking Deck (adjacent to the Nittany Lion Inn), and inform the attendant that you are attending an event at the School of Music.


Double Down for Two Double Basses ♦ Peter Askim (United States),  with John Moore WORLD PREMIER

Tremor, for Double Bass and Piano ♦ Douglas Knehans (Australia), with Svetlana Rodianova

Poem Basso V for Unaccompanied Double Bass ♦ Teppo Hauto-aho (Finland) UNITED STATES PREMIER

Up, Up and Far Away for Viola and Double Bass ♦ Peet Morrison (Denmark), with Heidi von Bernewitz WORLD PREMIER

Duo for viola and double bass ♦ Andreas Bennetzen (Denmark) WORLD PREMIER

Notes: Double Down for Two Double Basses by Peter Askim was commissioned by a consortium of bass players throughout the United States, including the principal bassists of the Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York Philharmonic, and San Diego Symphony orchestras.This is the first in a series of rolling performances across the country over the next year. Tremor, by Douglas Knehans, was premiered last year and this performance is in preparation for its first recording. The final three works on the program were written for Robert Nairn.

Robert Nairn teaches double bass, excerpts classes, 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, courtesy of a two-year DAAD German government scholarship. He has lived and worked in Germany, England, Australia, and the United States.

Nairn's teachers include 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 served as 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, Nairn 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.

John Moore became a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1996, hired by Music Director Lorin Mazel. Prior to his tenure in Pittsburgh, he was a member of  the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and was principal bass with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra. He began his professional career as associate principal bass with the Honolulu Symphony, and he also served as a lecturer at the University of Hawaii. In recent years, John has been involved with early music and has performed occasionally with Pittsburgh's Chatham Baroque, collaborating most recently in the quadricentennial of Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610 Vespers at Calvary Episcopal Church under the direction of Alan Lewis.   

Moore began his professional studies in 1984, studying with Philadelphia Orchestra principal bass Roger Scott at the Curtis Institute of Music. He continued his studies with Lawrence Wolfe at the New England Conservatory. He has performed with numerous music festivals including the National Repertory Orchestra, the Tanglewood Music Festival, Shleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Colorado Music Festival, Strings in the Mountains, and the Grand Teton Music Festival.

 John served as interim double bass professor at Penn State in 2008. He is married to Susanne Park, a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony's first violin section. They live in Lawrenceville with their 8-year old son, Oliver. John plays on a two hundred-year old English bass made by Jon Betts.

Heidi von Bernewitz has lived and worked professionally in England, Germany, Australia and America. Prior to moving back to the United States from England, she worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the English National Opera orchestra, and the Halle Orchestra. In Australia, she held positions with the Sydney Symphony and Australian Opera orchestras. She also previously held the position of assistant principal viola of the W├╝rttemberg Chamber Orchestra in Germany.

In the United States, Heidi has performed with the Pittsburgh and Baltimore Symphony orchestras, and the Renaissance Chamber players (Pittsburgh). She has performed at the international festivals at Glyndebourne, the London Proms, the Edinburgh Festival, and St. Endellion. In the early music world, she has performed the London Classical Opera and Modern Musicke of Washington D.C

Heidi is a graduate of Boston University and Yale University. Her teachers include Wolfram Christ, Michael Zaretsky, Atar Arad and Nabuko Imai.