The double bass is the giant of the string family, standing at a little over six feet tall! It’s so large that you have to stand or sit on a high stool to play it. Just like the other members of the string family, you use your right hand to move the bow or pluck the strings and your left hand to press down on the strings to change the pitch. The double bass has the lowest pitch range of the string family and often works with its friends in the percussion section to provide the rhythmic foundation of the orchestra. The bass has four strings tuned a fourth apart, and from highest to lowest, they are exactly opposite the violin: G, D, A, and E.
Video coming soon!
Principal Bass, Jay Phillips Chair
Associate Principal Bass, Mr. and Mrs. Edward E. Stepanek Chair
Assistant Principal Bass
Kristen Bruya joined the Minnesota Orchestra as principal bass in February 2015. Prior to this, she was the assistant principal bass of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 2010 through 2014, and a member of Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s bass section from 2006 to 2010. She received an undergraduate degree in music from the University of Michigan, did extended studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and received a Master of Music from Rice University. From 2000-2004, she was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida.
Kathryn Nettleman, who joined the Minnesota Orchestra in fall 2009, has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and Southeast Asia. Prior to her move to Minnesota, she worked as principal bass of the Hong Kong Philharmonic under Edo de Waart, former music director of the Minnesota Orchestra. From summer 2012 to February 2015 she served as the Minnesota Orchestra's acting co-principal bass; in April 2015 she was named acting associate principal bass. In January 2022, she was appointed to the permanent position of associate principal bass.
Assistant Principal Bass William Schrickel, a native of Iowa, joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1976. He recently released Vintage '88, a CD on Centaur Records comprising chamber works by Peter Schickele, Laura Karpman, and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. He has appeared as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra three times, once under the baton of Andrew Litton and twice with Leonard Slatkin, performing music of John Tartaglia and Giovanni Bottesini. He participated in the Minnesota Orchestra's Adopt-A-School music education program from 1993 to 2012, performing for and speaking to elementary school students to prepare them to attend their first live orchestra concert.
Connecticut native Robert Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree at Indiana University and a master’s degree at Catholic University. He received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich with Professor Franz Ortner. Prior to joining the Minnesota Orchestra’s bass section in 1974, he performed with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C., the Richmond Symphony and the Aspen Music Festival.
Anderson serves as a faculty member at the MacPhail Center for Music. He previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Normandale Community College. Additionally, he taught and performed at the Las Vegas Music Festival for 12 years. He is also active as a local freelance musician and contractor, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Twin Cities Musicians Union.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Matthew Frischman joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1998. He served as Acting Co-Principal bass from 2012-15. Prior to his appointment here, he held positions in the New World Symphony and the Virginia Symphony. He has also performed extensively with the Chicago Symphony, the National Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.
In addition to his work with the Minnesota Orchestra, he has performed at the Bravo Vail festival with the New York Philharmonic, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Brian Liddle performed as a substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra while still in school. He joined the Minnesota Orchestra bass section in 1995.
David Williamson joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1986, and has since performed a broad range of repertoire not only in classical subscription concerts, but in more than 30 Orchestra-sponsored programs. These have included chamber music concerts at Sommerfest and other venues, family concerts, pops programs—where he has often played jazz bass—and many Kinder Konzerts.
Since 2001 Williamson has also served as principal bass of the Oregon Bach Festival with conductor Helmuth Rilling. He performs regularly at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and in 2004 he performed at Music in the Vineyards in Napa, California. He has been a guest faculty member at Stringwood, a chamber music camp in Lanesboro, Minnesota. Prior to joining the Orchestra, Williamson held the position of principal bass with the New Orleans Symphony and performed with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra for seven summers.