Guest Recital: Bertram Turetzky and Friends

January 25, 2012

Sara Lynn McCall Graduate Assistant

Guest Recital: Bertram Turetzky and Friends

VALDOSTA -- The VSU Department of Music will present world-renowned contrabassist Bertram Turetzky and friends, including Dr. John Gaston, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, in Whitehead Auditorium.

Contrabassist Bertram Turetzky's career is nothing short of extraordinary. He almost single handedly redefined the role of the bass in 20th Century classical music, from one of back row support to that of featured and celebrated soloist. He has been teaching the instrument at a master level, since the late fifties.

“Out of the six major contrabass pedagogues I’ve studied with, professor Turetzky was the most personable,” said Dr. Tod Leavitt, lecturer in music. “He opened up the world of contemporary music for me, which led to the performance art that became my niche. Ultimately, he became the man I choose as my mentor.”

Even before his career in classical music, Turetzky loved jazz. He plays with a full, dark, acoustic sound that is reflective of players like Mingus and Ray Brown, while maintaining his own distinctive identity. One of Turetzky's defining characteristics is his creation of what are known as extended-techniques. You could say that he wrote the book on extended contrabass techniques. His master edition of these ideas, The Contemporary Contrabass (University of California Press, 1974), is still the standard practicum for both virtuoso bass studies, and a kind of cookbook for New Music composers.

Admission is free. For a list of upcoming performances, visit For more information or to make reservations, call the ticket office at (229) 333-2150.