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Gary Karr (b11/20/1941)

Widely regarded as the world’s leading solo bassist, Gary Karr is, in fact, the first solo double bassist in history to make that pursuit a full-time career. Since his début with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, he has performed as soloist on six continents with orchestra, and, since 1971, in recital with pianist-organist-harpsichordist, Harmon Lewis. He has recorded discs with major orchestras throughout the world, been the subject of video films for the BBC, Channel 4 and CBS, and received the bronze medal of the Rosa Ponselle Foundation, which recognises him as an outstanding lyrical musician. He also has been awarded the Artist-Teacher Award from the American String Teacher’s Association and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Society of Bassists. In June 2005 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of Victoria. In 1994, now a Canadian citizen, he moved to Victoria, British Columbia, where he had already spent twenty-four summers with the Johannesen International School of the Arts and the Victoria International Festival.

Although he retired in 2001 after a forty-year career of performing, he still holds a month-long summer course for bassists (KarrKamp) every July in Victoria and appears annually in the Victoria Summer Music Festival. Since 1995 he has been performing worldwide on his favourite double bass which was made in Victoria by James Ham. All the wood for this instrument came from British Columbia.




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