Double bassist Edwin Barker is recognized as one of the most gifted bassists on the American concert scene. Acknowledged as an accomplished solo and ensemble player, Mr. Barker has concertized in North America, Europe, and the Far East.
Edwin Barker has performed and recorded with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and Collage, a Boston-based contemporary music ensemble. He is also a frequent guest performer with the Boston Chamber Music Society in Boston’s Jordan Hall. Edwin Barker performed the world premiere of James Yannatos’ Bass Concerto (which was written especially for him) with Alea 111 and subsequently with Collage. He was the featured soloist at the New England premiere of Gunther Schuller’s Bass Concerto, conducted by the composer, with the Boston Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Barker’s major teaching affiliations have included the Tanglewood Music Center, Boston University, and the New England Conservatory of Music.
Mr. Barker graduated with Honors from the New England Conservatory in 1976 where he studied double bass with Henry Portnoi. That same year, while a member of the Chicago Symphony, he was appointed at age twenty-two to the position of principal bass of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Barker continues to tour and perform internationally with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.
Mr. Barker was invited to inaugurate the One-Hundredth Anniversary Season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra with a solo performance of the Koussevitzky Bass Concerto; a performance the Boston Globe praised as having possessed “everything that makes great artistry – tone, technical equipment, temperament, repose, a keen sense of rhythm, and fine conception.” Other solo engagements include appearances at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood, Carnegie Recital Hall’s “Sweet and Low” series, and recitals at major universities and conferences throughout the world. His recent engagements have included solo appearances with the Boston Classical Orchestra as well as with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Boston and in Europe. In July 1995, Mr. Barker was chosen by Maestro Sir Georg Solti to lead the bass section of the United Nations’ orchestra “Musicians of the World,” an orchestra comprised of prominent musicians from the world’s finest orchestras.
Edwin Barker’s other double bass teachers have included Peter Mercurio, Richard Stephan, and Angelo LaMariana.