Double Bass Solo

Keith Hartley

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
[Keith Hartley]

Keith Hartley joined the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in 1987 as sub-principal double bass, and was presented with the ROH Silver Medal for 25 years service from Lord Tony Hall in February 2013. Prior to that, he had been a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Northern & BBC Concert Orchestras. The Radio 3 programme: Building a Library recently made the Jascha Horenstein recording of Mahler “Das Lied von der Erde” with the BBC Northern Symphony and Alfreda Hodgson (alto) / John Mitchinson (tenor) it's First Choice Recommendation. This programme was recorded over 35 years ago!

I was fortunate to record the same work with Rudolf Kempe & Janet Baker in 1975. Many of these old recordings are available on the BBC Legends label. Rudolf Kempe will also be remembered for his Ein Heldenleben, with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (BBC Proms 1974)

Particularly during the thirteen years (1974-87) as a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Keith toured and recorded extensively. Here is a selection of his latest recordings:
Royal Opera CD's  ·  ·  Royal Opera DVD's  ·  ·  Royal Ballet DVD's

For many years, Keith Hartley was also the bass player with the London Harpsichord Ensemble, and can be heard on the Albinoni, Telemann and Handel oboe concertos with Sarah Francis.
(These recordings are rated 3 and 4 stars in the Penquin Guide.)

Many thanks to the artist FRASER KING for permission to include a copy of his painting "The Lull - 2005"
& Neil Gillespie © 2012 (ROH Bass section photo) & Rob Moore © 2013 (for Medal Ceremony photos)
[Keith Hartley]

On the educational front, Oxford University Press started publishing the "Double Bass Solo" series in 1980. These books are still going strong, and a new edition of Double Bass Solo Book 1 has been published in 2019

Other publications include:
Double Bass Solo Book 2 - popular book of orchestral excerpts.
Double Bass Solo Techniques - This book was published in March 2008.
Subterranean Solos - 9 Concert pieces for Bass and Piano.
Bass Clef Duets - 15 Duets in bass and tenor clefs.

The Double Bass he plays on at the Royal Opera House is by Joseph Panormo (1768-1837) and was featured in "The Strad" magazine of January 1999, both on the front cover and in an article by Tom Martin & Martin Lawrence. Click on the link above to read the instrument's fascinating history dating back to c.1820. Also features in The English Double Bass book (2018)

Other useful links:
The Walking Bass Wheel
Bob Gollihur's Double Bass Links
Rachel Webley's UK Bassclef website