Nicholas Walker performs Concerto for Contrabass and Wind Ensemble by Dana Wilson

Nicholas Walker recently performed this wide-ranging and engaging new work for double bass and wind ensemble.

With Nicholas Walker · Ann Arbor, MI

Nicholas Walker is a Professor of Music at The University of Michigan, a Fulbright Scholar, and a Past-President of the International Society of Bassists where he served as the Artistic Director and Convention Host of the 50th Anniversary Convention in 2017. He has diplomas from Rice University, the Nadia Boulanger Conservatoire de Paris, and Stony Brook University, where he earned his Doctorate in early music in 2004. He also hosted the 2017 and 2023 ISB Conventions.

Nicholas recently performed Concerto for Contrabass and Wind Ensemble by Dana Wilson with the University of Michigan Symphony Band.

Here is the complete video of the performance:

Dana Wilson shared the following background about this piece, which is adapted for wind ensemble, orchestra, and piano:

When bassist Nicholas Walker first approached me about writing a bass concerto for him, I became concerned. How could I get such a low instrument to project in the orchestral context? How could this instrument, whose strings are so long and relatively slow to speak, generate the enormous musical energy that an entire concerto requires?

Then, of course, I thought about Nicholas’ special approach to the instrument and his excitement about its possibilities. What resulted was a piece that I hope matches his unique musical sensibility while also exploring his boundless technique.

During this journey, the bass became for me truly a unique voice. The movement titles reflect this. They are adapted, respectively, from three of my favorite poems: “Song of Myself #25” by Walt Whitman; “Holy Spirit” by Hildegard von Bingen; and ” Sailing to Byzantium” by W. B. Yeats

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