Take a look at our selection of the eight most famous double bass players of all time. These individuals may have a variety of affiliations to the disciplines of art, jazz, or music in general. You will find artists, musicians, and professors on our list, or a mix of them. Regardless of the range of their interests, they have etched significant chapters in the double bass’s history.
If you are looking for a cause to learn to play the double bass, we have got you covered in this article 8 with the personalities and success that these brilliant bassists have encountered throughout their lives and who continue to follow even the dead after death. Regardless of the musical genre in which they originated, their names have been recognized and admired from the pre-classical era to the present day.
Kampfer, Josef (1735-1788)
He is the first double bass soloist to have the confidence to express himself. His aim was to raise the instrument from its humble beginnings to something extraordinary – and all weather reports agree that his technical skill aided him in this endeavor. However, not all commentators were delighted, and one in Paris stated that his attempts were lauded more than his accomplishments.
Although we no longer possess any of his compositions, we do know that Kampfer gained public recognition as a result of the sponsorship of a wealthy Viennese amateur instrumentalist. His first appearance was at the court of Prince Esterhazy, and Alfred Planyavsky regarded the double bass solos in Haydn’s symphonies 6, 7, 8, 31, and 72 to have been written for him.
He relocated to England, where his career was inextricably linked to that of Domenico Dragonetti (1763-1846), arguably the greatest double bass performer of all time.
Ditters, Carl von Dittersdorf (1739-1799)
He was one of the most prominent personalities of the Viennese classical school, having been born in Vienna. The young guy attended a Jesuit school and had private lessons in music, French, and religion thanks to his father, who was able to give him with a solid education. His violin tutors noticed his aptitude for writing, and in early 1763, he traveled to Italy with Gluck, where he established a reputation as a brilliant musician.
In 1765, he was appointed Kapellmeister of the Bishop of Grosswardein and established a thriving orchestra. Ditters was appointed a “knight of the golden spur” in 1770, a year after the bishop dissolved his orchestra. In 1773, Empress Maria Theresa elevated him to the dignity of “von Dittersdorf.” He died two days after dictating the autobiography’s last pages.
Pischelberger, Friederich (1741-1813)
“The Brave Pischelberger,” as Dittersdorf dubbed him, was a member of Emanuel Schikaneder’s Freihaus orchestra at the time of the Magic Flute’s premiere, and it appears that he created Mozart’s Per questa belle Mano just for him.
Friedrich Pischelberger was a member of the Grosswardein Orchestra at Dittersdorf from 1765 until 1769, where he co-created the Dittersdorf and Pichl performances.
Wenceslas Hause (about 1796 –?
He was born in Bohemia and was a well-known double bass musician and instructor at the Prague Conservatory. He began his musical career on the violin, and in Dresden, he released numerous pieces for the instrument. Later in life, he took double bass lessons and developed an uncanny precision.
In 1828, he published, again in Dresden, a highly effective technique for double bass called Contrabasschule, which was afterwards republished in bilingual Franco-German editions in Paris and Antwerp under the title Complete Method for Double Bass, which was authorized and adopted by the Prague Conservatory.
Bottesini Giovanni (1821 – 1889)
He was not just the most renowned double bassist of his day, but also a conductor and composer. Born in Lombardy into a musical family, he began playing the violin with his uncle at the age of five. He received a scholarship from the Institution of Milan when he was 13 years old, but because the conservatory offered only bass and double bass lessons, he chose the latter.
Although he sang with difficulty, he was allowed at the audition due to his musicality, despite his faulty technique; on this occasion, he said a famous phrase: “I know I sang incorrectly, but once I learned where to place my fingers, it will never happen again.”
From his first public performance in 1839, he achieved a level of success that enabled him to tour the world. In 1846, he created and premiered his first opera, Cristoforo Colombo, in Havana.
He directed the world premiere of his friend Verdi’s Aida at the Cairo Opera in 1871 as part of the Suez Canal’s inauguration celebrations. He wrote a comprehensive technique for the double bass. He created a number of operas and instrumental works, the majority of them were for his instrument.
Babasin, Harry (1921-1988)
Harry Babasin was an American double bassist and cellist born in Dallas (Texas, USA) to an Armenian immigrant father and a North Texas State College music instructor.
After studying at his mother’s school, where he met Herb Ellis, Jimmy Giuffre, Gene Roland, Johnny Smith, and Tommy Reeves and gained familiarity with various instruments, and after making his debut in local orchestras, where he occasionally imposed a complete change of pace, he begins to participate in tournaments with various bands of varying importance, including those of Jimmy Joy, Bob Strong, Billie Rogers, Gene Krupa, Charlie Barnet, Boyd Raeburn, and Ben He first lived in New York, then in California in 1945, when he featured alongside Benny Goodman in the film A Star Is Born.
He becomes a director of a non-profit organization called The Angeles Theatrum, which aims to collect all registered sources and papers pertaining to the West Coast movement. As a result, Jazz Chronicles has issued numerous albums. He died of emphysema in 1988. He was pleased to have been a part of 1,500 double bass recordings towards the end of his life.
Chambers, Paul (1935-1969)
Paul Chambers was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in Detroit. He gained notoriety while touring with pianist George Wallington and tenor saxophonist Paul Quinichette, and later joined JJ Johnson’s quartet.
He was a part of Miles Davis’ quintet from 1955 until 1963, with whom he made several recordings. He later collaborated with artists associated with Miles Davis, most notably Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, John Coltrane, and Sonny Rollins. He was well-known for his struggles with alcohol and drugs and died in 1969 at the age of 33 from TB.
Tchamitchian, Claude (1960-)
Born in Paris into a musical family (he is frequently referred to as his father; he was an Alfred Cortot pupil), he eventually chose double bass, which he mastered first on his own and then at the Avignon Conservatory. His initial collaborations were with Avignon guitarist Remi Charmasson, with whom he established an extraordinary duet that evolved into a trio with Andre Jaume (Cinochealbum, 1988).
Claude Tchamitchian established the Lousadzak septet following the release of his debut solo album (Jeu d’Enfant, 1993). ( sources of light in Armenian). This all-instrumental ensemble – clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, double bass, and drums – was formed in response to Tchamitchian’s late discovery of Armenian music, which he had previously dismissed despite his Armenian father and French mother.
Claude Tchamitchian, a well-known double bass musician, has been active on all stages and in all musical genres since the late 1980s, fusing jazz, improvisational music, and traditional music. A portion of his work is also devoted to stage music, whether for theater or dance.