MCM Double Bass Day and Competition

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Melba Hall

Parkville, VIC 3010


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Event description


The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) presents a Double Bass Day and Competition, bringing together performers, teachers, students, luthiers and exhibitors from all over Australia. Hosted in the acclaimed Melba Hall, the day will feature recitals, masterclasses, Jazz clinics, lecture demonstrations, and a special program for Young Bassists.

Attendance for the day is free.


There are three different types of tickets available for this event, all of which are free.

1. General Registration - for bassists and their families interested in watching or participating in masterclasses
2. Competitor - for bassists wishing to compete in the Solo Competition
3. Young Bassist - a special program for young bassists open to all ages and levels

More details below.


9.30am Exhibition opens (bass, bow, rosin makers and dealers from all over Australia)

10.30am Masterclass 1 Phoebe Russell

12.30pm Concert presentation on Historical bass Ruth Wilkinson and Rob Nairn

2.00pm Masterclass Steve Reeves

3.30pm Competition Final Round

4.30pm Ensemble concert (Young Bassists)

5.30pm Concert/Clinic Geoff Kluke

6.30pm Announcement of Competition winners

Solo concert Damien Eckersley and others

8.00pm Final Recital Phoebe Russell


The Solo Competition is open to any bassists under 28 years of age, and will be run in two rounds. The competition will be adjudicated by a distinguished panel of judges, including the principal bassists of several of Australia’s orchestras.

Registrations to compete close on 31 October. To register for the competition, select the "Competitor" ticket, and we will be in contact with further information.

Round 1
Candidates must prepare an unaccompanied work of their own choice (8 mins approx) plus the set work ('Isolement' by Etienne LaFrance) which will be sent to the candidates upon application. The first round will start at 9.00am on the day, and will be closed to the public.

Round 2
Candidates must prepare an accompanied work of their own choice (10 mins approx). The second round will be open to the public and an accompanist will be provided.

The MCM is delighted to announce that the first prize for the solo competition on 26 November will be a new bow by master bow maker Phillip Smith.

The prize for the runner up will be a C-extension by Matthew Tucker at Bresque Basses (drilled, tunable C-extension with one lever).

Further prizes will be announced.


Round 1 (closed to public)

- May attend masterclasses and presentations -

12.30-2.00pm Finalists rehearse with accompanist

3.30-4.10pm Competition Round 2 (open to public)

6.30pm Announcement of winners of presentation of prizes


The Young Bassists program is open to students of all ages and levels. Registration is open from 9.30am and the program begins in the Heinze room of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (Royal Parade, Parkville) at 10.30am.

The program runs until 4.15pm and will feature a big warm up, two masterclasses for which students can register an interest to play, and rehearsals of the large bass ensemble works we will perform. A final concert open to the public will take place at 4.30pm in Melba Hall.

The music for the ensemble works will be sent out to the applicants via Dropbox as early as possible, featuring music from several composers including Teppo Hauto-Aho and a new work written espeically for the day by Lily Tait.

There will be a special program for young bassists which is open to students of all ages and levels. Lunch will be provided.


9.30-10.30am Registration

10.30-11.00am Group warm-ups

11.00-11.50am Masterclass with Steve Reeves

- Break -

12.00-12.50pm Ensemble music rehearsal

12.50-1.15pm Talk about making double basses

- Lunch break (lunch provided) -

2.00-2.50pm Masterclass with Phoebe Russell

2.50-3.30pm Bass Olympics

3.30-4.15pm Ensemble music rehearsal

4.30pm Young Bassists Concert (Melba Hall)

Sponsorship is gratefully acknowledged from D’Addario strings, Atelier Philip Smith, Atelier Puglisi, Bresque Basses, David Heyes at Recital Music and the International Society of Bassists.

Confirmed performers are Phoebe Russell, Steve Reeves, Damien Eckersley, Ruth Wilkinson and Geoff Kluke

Registration is essential. This guarantees your seat at an event and allows us to communicate any unforeseen event scheduling changes with you. Please note, however, that you are not required to print your ticket prior to arrival.

Featured Artists:

Damien Eckersley
Ben Hanlon
Geoff Kluke

Rob Nairn
Stephen Newton
Steve Reeves
Phoebe Russell
Ruth Wilkinson


D'Addario Strings
The International Society of Bassists
Atelier Philip Smith
Atelier Puglisi
Bresque Basses

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Melba Hall

Parkville, VIC 3010


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