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Bertram Turetzky

Bertram Turetzky (b. February 14, 1933) is a contemporary American double bass soloist, teacher, and author of The Contemporary Contrabass (1974, 1989), a book that looked at a number of new and interesting ways of playing the double bass including featuring it as a solo performance vehicle with no other instrumental accompaniment. Turetzky has performed and recorded more than 300 pieces written by and for him. He is a composer whose music has achieved some prominence, as have his interpretations of early music and composers like Domenico Dragonetti. Music critic Michael Steinberg has praised his continuo playing. Turetzky has appeared as a featured soloist in the major music centers of the world.

Turetzky is a versatile musician, conversant in chamber music, baroque music, classical, jazz, renaissance music, improvisational music and many different genres of world music. He has also developed a special affinity for klezmer music.

In addition to The Contemporary Contrabass, Turetzky has co-edited a book series called The New Instrumentation; seven of a planned eight volumes have been finished. Turetzky wrote an introduction to The Autobiography of Pops Foster: New Orleans Jazz Man which spoke to the early development of jazz bass playing.

Turetzky was born in Norwich, Connecticut, United States, and grew up there. He received a masters degree in music history from the University of Hartford. In his youth, he was drawn to classic jazz music, playing professionally in that style at his first performances. His aspiration to be a jazz player was encouraged by many of the older swing stars. Turetzky continues to play classic jazz, and appears regularly at jazz festivals.

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