Michael Martin is a second year double bass fellow in the New World Symphony from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Acting Principal Bass of the Hilton Head Symphony in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Formerly, he was a Diversity Fellow with the Cincinnati Symphony, and an Associate Member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
He holds degrees from Northwestern University and Oberlin Conservatory of Music in double bass performance. Michael lives in Miami Beach, Florida, with his girlfriend Rose, their tuxedo cat named “Tofu”, and an ever-growing collection of houseplants. Michael began his study of the double bass with Suzuki teacher Domenick Fiore in early high school, and quickly discovered a deep love of the double bass in all its musical capacities. He has since studied with renowned bass professors Joseph Conyers, Tracy Rowell, Andrew Raciti, Owen Lee and Alexander Hanna.
Throughout his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Michael developed a passion for string pedagogy and has worked with legendary cello pedagogues Hans Jørgen Jensen and Cornelia Watkins-Dyer. Michael is a Teaching Artist at VIA Academy, a weeklong summer intensive based in Miami Beach focused on reaching underserved and underrepresented communities. He has also taught semi-private lessons and group classes through the International Society of Bassists Young Bassists program, in addition to masterclasses with the composer-performer collective Bass Players for Black Composers and Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
In addition to orchestral playing, Michael found an appreciation of contemporary music in his time at Oberlin Conservatory, and can be heard on the album Songtree performing the music of Ricardo Zohn Muldoon alongside faculty of the Eastman School. Recent concert appearances have included playing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Florida Orchestra, as well as a production of the Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten with the Miami-based vocal chamber music ensemble Illuminarts. Michael is also the creator of Black Reflections, a three-part panel discussion series on racial justice in music, featuring Black luminaries of classical music and jazz such as Chi-chi Nwanoku, Christian McBride, and Dr. Tammy Kernodle.
Michael plays a modern instrument made for him in 2019 by Christopher Savino, and a bow by celebrated French archetier Jean Grunberger.
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