Contrabass Conversations double bass life

564: Rex Surany

Feb. 11, 2019

Rex Surany is the new Principal bass of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He is also working as an assistant teacher in cooperation with Harold Robinson, the Principal Bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra, at the Juilliard School.

 

His musical education began with piano lessons when he was 7 years old. After two years of piano, he switched exclusively to double bass with Robert Peterson of Trenton, New Jersey. In 2002, upon completing the Vance repertoire with Peterson, Rex then started to study Rabbath Method with Nicholas Walker, double bass Professor at Ithaca college, and joined the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra under maestro Joseph Primavera's direction.

 

Rex's first year of college, in 2006, was spent at The Colburn School in Los Angeles. There he studied with David Moore and Paul Ellison. After a year, he was admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music, where, in addition to studying double bass, he found and pursued interests in composing, transcribing, and arranging that continue today.

 

A few weeks after graduating from Curtis, in May 2012, Rex became a temporary member of the New York Philharmonic with Alan Gilbert as Music Director. While Rex was working at “The Phil”, he spent a lot of his relief and vacation time traveling to Berlin to study the Berlin Philharmonic tradition and German bow technique with Matthew McDonald and Janne Saksala; first principal basses. After two years of working in New York, studying in Berlin, and auditioning in North America, Europe, and even Scandanavia, Rex finally won his first audition for a section position at the Metropolitan Opera in 2014. And only one year later, he won the principal position.

 

Rex has won numerous accolades in both solo and orchestral bass realms. In June 2009, he was awarded 2nd prize of the ISB (International Society of Bassists) Orchestral Competition. The following summer, he was and the 3rd prize-winner of the 2010 Bradetich Foundation International Solo Competition. In 2011, Rex was the 2nd prize-winner at the ISB Solo competition. Rex has performed with many orchestras including: the Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Haddonfield “Symphony in C”, the Boston Symphony, the American Ballet Theatre, the New York Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan opera. He has given master classes and recitals at Ithaca College, Brigham Young University, and Fort Lewis College.

 

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

Steve Swan String Bass

Steve Swan String Bass features the West Coast’s largest selection of double basses between Los Angeles and Canada.  Located in Burlingame, just south of San Francisco, their large retail showroom holds about 70 basses on display. Their new basses all feature professional setups and come with a cover at no additional cost. Used and consignment instruments receive any needed repairs and upgrades before getting a display position on the sales floor.

Upton Bass String Instrument Company

Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

D'Addario Strings

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

 

The Bass Violin Shop

The Bass Violin Shop offers the Southeast’s largest inventory of laminate, hybrid and carved double basses. Whether you are in search of the best entry-level laminate, or a fine pedigree instrument, there is always a unique selection ready for you to try. Trade-ins and consignments welcome!

 

Kolstein Music

The Samuel Kolstein Violin Shop was founded by Samuel Kolstein in 1943 as a Violin and Bow making establishment in Brooklyn, New York. Now on Long Island, over 60 years later, Kolstein’s has built a proud reputation for quality, craftsmanship and expertise in both the manufacture and repair of a whole range of stringed instruments, and has expanded to a staff of twelve experts in restoration, marketing and production.

A440 Violin Shop

An institution in the Roscoe Village neighborhood for over 20 years, A440's commitment to fairness and value means that we have many satisfied customers from the local, national, and international string playing communities. Our clients include major symphony orchestras, professional orchestra and chamber music players, aspiring students, amateur adult players, all kinds of fiddlers, jazz and commercial musicians, university music departments, and public schools.

Contrabass Conversations production team:

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Podparadise.com neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.