About Robert Meyer

Robert Meyer

In this blog, I’m telling some of my stories and anecdotes from behind the scenes: my musical reminiscences. More reminiscences are in my book, The Bottom Line.


As background, here is my current bio:

Robert Meyer’s accomplishments as a double bass player and concert artist could fill several pages, as Benjamin Britten was quoted as saying: “He has proved himself to be a considerable musician and a fine player.” His career, however, extends beyond his notable achievements as a performer and includes distinctions as both an artist (he is a Chinese Watercolourist of repute) and an educator (He recently assisted the Victoria Youth Orchestra, freelances in the Pacific Northwest and frequently gives solo lectures “All you ever wanted to know about the Double Bass but were afraid to ask”). However, here is a brief synopsis of his career:

Graduated as a double bass soloist from the Royal College of Music, London, England. Respectively a member of the London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Philharmonia and BBC Symphony Orchestras. (Conductors include Furtwangler, de Sabata, von Karajan, Klemperer, Giulini, Bruno Walter, Koussevitsky, Stokowski, Rhozdesdensvky, Stravinsky, Khatchaturian, etc.) Principal Bass, Sadlers Wells Opera, Principal Bass, San Carlo Opera, Naples, Covent Garden Ballet Orchestra, Principal/co Principal Bass English Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra (Barshoi), Principal Bass, Bolshoi Ballet. Commanded by HRH Queen Elizabeth II to perform at her Coronation. Founding Member, Solo Bass and librarian to Benjamin Britten’s English Opera Group and Aldeburgh Festival. Invited to come to Canada as Principal Bass, Vancouver Symphony, Principal Bass CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra and Principal Bass Vancouver Opera. Robert Meyer has taught at the Universities of British Columbia and Victoria and played at most major festivals and concert halls in the world.

Published on September 13, 2006 at 8:15 pm  Comments (10)  

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  1. Dear Mr. Meyer,

    I am on the board of directors for the International Society of Bassists and run a daily bass blog at doublebassblog.org. I also produce a weekly show called Contrabass Conversations (contrabassconversations.com) where we interview pivotal figures in the double bass world. I would be very interested in interviewing you for this production. If you’d like to set something up, please e-mail me at jasonheath@doublebassblog.org. Thanks!

    -Jason Heath

  2. Dear Mr. Meyer,

    Heard about your blog in jason’s doublebassblog.org. I have learned a lot from your posts. I am looking forward to your next posts.

    Much admiration,
    Michael Mulyadi

  3. I own and operate the String Emporium. We specialize in the upright double bass. http://www.stringemporium.com
    Please let me know how we can get a copy of one of your books and perhaps carry them.

    Steve Koscica

  4. Mr. Meyer,

    I just finished your book. I learned about it through your interview with Jason Heath. It was very inspiring. I am going through a transition musically and it was very inspiring to read about your life’s work.

    The bass has become a secondary instrument for me. I hope one day to be proficient enough to experience the feeling of playing in a wonderful orchestra as you have throughout your life.

    Good luck to you. I think I will buy the CD now!

    Michael Drost

  5. Mr Meyer, (or Robert, as we have had previous contact even if very remote)
    I was in London in the 1950’s and heard many of your performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Reading about Otto Klemperer today and your blog popped up on google.This was following a posting on the CBC Radio 2 Tempo blog by some one who thought (like me) that Klemperer was the greatest Beethoven conductor. I remember too the great timpani player in the orchestra, what was his name?
    What was the quote when someone thought Klemp’s speeds were a little too slow, “Give it time, you will get used to it” or something like that.

  6. I think the timpanist dansk66 is referring to was James Bradshaw. I lived in the same environment as you, Mr. Meyer, and am fascinated by your blog. Our paths must have crossed. I was a young EMI recording engineer at Abbey Rd. Studios from 1969 onwards, also often at Kingsway Hall and other venues around London. I am not sure that you were still playing with the Philharmonia when Klemperer was conducting at that time. Halcyon days!

    David Pickett

    My blog: davidpickett.wordpress.com

  7. Hello Robert, I’m looking forward to sharing your great content with our Victoria Conservatory of Music students! We’ve just launched the Premier Season of our VCM Presents – Conservatory Concert Series!
    Six amazing shows beginning this Oct 16th with the Cecelia String Quartet. Please feel free to share this news with your readers… all info can be found here http://www.vcm.bc.ca/009_AlixGooldenHa/9763_VCM_Presents_.html


  8. Dear Mr Meyer

    I am researching a biography of the Catalan cellist Francisco “Gaby” Gabarró, who I believe played with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1940s or ’50s, and I was wondering if you had any memories of him that you might be able to share with me. If you have, please write to me at simonjberrill@gmail.com.

    Thank you

    Simon Berrill

  9. Dear Mr Meyer,

    My name is Dennis Whittaker, the principal bassist of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra in the US. We are near the end of a 10-year run of Britten operas, this year performing “The Rape of Lucretia”. We have also performed “Turn of the Screw”, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Peter Grimes” and “Billy Budd”I would love to chat with you at some point regarding the bass writing in these parts. If you have time, could you email me at dwhittaker@uh.edu. Many thanks for any time you can spare.
    Dennis Whittaker

  10. Bob, Dennis Miller here in Montreal. Can you send me your email address? The “@Shaw.ca” address did not go through for me. I have an old press clipping I’d like to send you.

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