Celebration of the Arts: Ambassador Award

June 30




Celebration of the Arts: Ambassador Award

Please join us for an evening of celebration, good food , fun and dress-up with what we are calling “Summer Serenade.” Be inspired about music and the arts!

5:30 pm Drinks on the patio (cash bar)
6:30 pm Buffet Dinner
8:00 pm Maureen Washington Quartet


2017 Ambassador of the Arts Recipient – Gary Karr

 Gary Karr, acclaimed as “the world’s leading solo bassist” (Time Magazine), is, in fact, the first solo double bassist in history to make that pursuit a full-time career. It is a career that adds new luster to his already lustrous 1611 Amati doublebass which was given to him by the widow of Serge Koussevitzky.

Since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1962,  Gary    has performed as a soloist on six continents with orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Simon Bolivar Orchestra (Caracas, Venezuela), Jerusalem Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and with all the major orchestras of Australia.

Karr’s career has been characterized by many things but in particular,his career-long interest in children — their pleasure and growth as listeners. Another is the sense of humor typified by puns in his promotional materials, and some stand-up comedy during certain kinds of performances. The third is his musical ecumenism: he has been as natural playing Christmas melodies and non-classical music (a CD of spirituals and Stephen Foster, for example) as he is in re-creating Bach’s Cello Suites.

In addition to many master classes, for the past twenty years Gary has presided for four weeks annually at Karr Kamp, an intensive month-long summer course for bassists held at the University of Victoria which has attracted bass players of all ages and levels from throughout the world. Karr has produced numerous educational method books and videos on the technical aspects of playing the bass, and has written articles for musical journals. He established an eponymous Foundation in 1983 to preserve a collection of fine instruments for use without cost by gifted young musicians. Furthermore, he has commissioned more than 50 works, both concertos and solo concert pieces, from composers including Paul Ramsier, Hans Werner Henze, John Downey, Gunther Schuller, Lalo Schifrin, and Robert Rodriguez.

At his farewell concert in Indianapolis, he was presented with a gift from more than 200 of his colleagues and fans: a newly developed rose named in his honour. Gary became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1997, and received an honorary Doctorate of Music from UVic in 2005. He has served on the board of the Victoria Symphony, and continues to serve on the board of the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

Please note: The cost of this event is included in your Accommodation fees if you are staying on campus June 30th. Day students and visitors will need to purchase a ticket either on-line or at the MISSA reception desk.


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