Duncan McTier

Winner of the 1982 Isle of Man International Double Bass Competition, Duncan McTier is recognised as one of the world’s foremost double bass soloists and teachers. He has given in excess of 400 solo performances worldwide and inspired a host of superlatives from critics.

Duncan McTier has appeared as soloist in more than twenty countries, with many leading orchestras, including the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, English and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, RTVE Symphony Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur and Lausanne Chamber Orchestras. He has made more than fifty solo recordings for radio, television and CD and his Tarantella CD, with pianist Kathron Sturrock, was described in The Strad as containing “some of the most refined bass playing you are ever likely to hear”. Two more CDs, Capriccio and Sonata, were later released to much critical acclaim.

Born in Stourbridge, Worcestershire, Duncan McTier graduated from Bristol University with an Honours degree in Mathematical Sciences before joining the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the age of 20. Two years later he became principal bass of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, where he remained for seven years before returning to England to concentrate on a career as soloist, chamber musician and teacher. Composers who have written works especially for him include Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Robin Holloway, John Casken, John Hawkins, Gavin Bryars and Derek Bourgeois.

Duncan McTier is a former Professor of Double Bass at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste and is currently Professor at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia in Madrid. He has given masterclasses all over the world and was for many years a member of the Nash Ensemble and the Fibonacci Sequence. Honours awarded him include Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music and Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music.

Prof. Frank Thoenes

Frank Thoenes studied with Prof. R. Heister at the Folkwang University in Essen and on master classes with Prof. W. Güttler (Berliner Philharmoniker). Following his studies, he received a scholarship as a solo bassist at the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss under the direction of J. Goritzki. Since then he has been involved in numerous CD productions as well as solo and chamber music concerts. For example at the Festival Cervantino in Mexico, at festivals in Ascona and Salzburg, at the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades and at the Richard Strauß Festival in Garmisch. Some of his tours went to Australia, South America and Asia. He gained orchestral experience with the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, the Hamburg State Orchestra, the Essen Philharmonic and has played among others with the conductors Claudio Abbado, Zubin Metha, Bernhard Haitink, Matthias Bamert and Michael Sanderling. He has been teaching at the Rostock University of Music and Theater since 2005. In 2019 he was awarded an honorary professorship. He is a solo double bass player with the North German Philharmonic in Rostock. He also gives master classes in Germany (double bass kaleidoscope) and abroad (China, Japan). After participating in the “International Days for New Music” in Darmstadt, where he was a fellow and also received an interpretation award, he became increasingly interested in new music. He premiered several works that composers dedicated to him, including Solo pieces by E. Janson, the concert ”Aventure” by Bodo Reinke and the Sonata for double bass and piano by R. Leistner-Mayer, which was written for the Eccles Duo (Thoenes / Hoffmann). As a sought-after chamber musician, he plays with several ensembles, among others with the ensemble ”Arabesque” (Hamburg / Berlin). The solo CD’s ”Tiefflug – Höhenflug” and ”basswärts” are available from castigo.de, jpc or from Naxos.Frank Thoenes studierte bei Prof. R. Heister an der Folkwang Hochschule in Essen und bei Meisterkursen von Prof. W. Güttler (Berliner Philharmoniker).

Peter Sonntag

Peter Sonntag teaches electric bass and jazz double bass at the Bavarian Bassdays. Described by the rororo-Jazzlexikon as ”musician of impressive virtuosity, technical brilliance and enormous imagination, who also created his own musical world full of magic”, Peter Sonntag studied classical double bass (Prof. H. Albert) and new music (among others with Wolfgang Meyer -Tormin) at the Cologne University of Music. He works as a composer, producer, soloist, teacher, book author and endorser of international companies. His textbook “Basscraft” is one of the most successful German bass textbooks, which critics titled “A milestone among bass textbooks” (Bassprofessor) and “The Bible of All Bassists” (Nightflight). Concerts, tours, TV and radio appearances and engagements at international festivals have led him to to China, USA, Great Britain, Scandinavia, Hungary, Poland, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland.

… excerpt from the “Jazzpodium Magazin”: “Peter Sonntag is the most complete bassist our Jazzwriter has listened to” (Hifi & Music, Sweden) – “… a modern Leonardo da Vinci” (Fachblatt Musik) – “… a voice that demands to be heard” (Milo Fine, USA). “

Thomas Hille

Thomas Hille was born in Deggendorf, Germany, in 1990. He was introduced to the world of music early on, and he began playing the piano at the age of five. In 2006, he discovered the double bass and, after just one year with the instrument, became a member of the Bavarian Youth Orchestra. At the time, he was attending the Hochschule für Musik und Theater (University of Music and Performing Arts) in Munich, where he had double bass lessons with Prof. Klaus Trumpf.

In 2009, he began studying under the tutelage of Prof. Dorin Marc in Nürnberg. Around the same time, he became a member of the Young German Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2012, Hille was runner-up at the Johann Matthias Sperger Double Bass Competition, where he also won the audience award and the award for the best interpretation of a Sperger sonata. 2014 saw him receive the Culture Award from his hometown. Hille has had solo concerts with renowned orchestras such as the Symphony Orchestra in Nuremberg, the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie, and the Rheinische Philharmonie in Koblenz.

He graduated from the Nuremberg conservatory with honors and has had master classes with Božo Paradžik, Catalin Rotaru, and Yasunori Kawahara. Since 2013, Hille has performed in the Orchestra Academy and also as a member of the double bass section of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also performed concerts for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, and the Munich Symphonic Orchestra.

In 2016, he became the principal bass player at the Gärtnerplatz State Theatre in Munich. Since Summer 2016, he has gained experience with modern takes on chamber music as a member of the Bassmonsters.

Dominik Luderschmid

Photo: Florian Ganslmeier

Dominik Luderschmid was born in Augsburg in 1986 and started playing the double bass at the age of 13. Before graduating from high school, he played in the Swabian, Bavarian and Federal Youth Orchestras as well as in the Bavarian State Youth Jazz Orchestra, was a national award winner for ›Jugend musiziert‹ and a young student at the Nuremberg / Augsburg University of Music.

He then studied at the Music Academy in Nuremberg with Prof. Dorin Marc classical and Rudolf Engel jazz double bass, was a member of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, was an academic with the Munich Philharmonic and regularly helped out in various orchestras.

After completing his classical studies, he moved to Amsterdam to complete his jazz studies at the music conservatory there. He then moved back to Munich, where he completed a master’s degree with Prof. Heinrich Braun and became a member of the Munich Chamber Orchestra.

Elisabeth Forster

Elisabeth Büttner was a student of Claus Freudenstein and studied with Prof. Matthias Weber and Nina Valcheva in Munich and Stuttgart. She completed her training at the ZHdK Zurich with Prof. Duncan McTier with a Master of Arts in Music Performance (orchestra) and a Master of Arts in Music Pedagogy, which she completed in 2017 with honors.

During her studies, Elisabeth Büttner had chamber music lessons with the Vogler Quartet and attended master classes with Dane Roberts (Violin), Gunars Upatnieks (Berlin Philharmonic) and Prof. Duncan McTier. She participated several times as a scholarship holder at the Stuttgart University of Music at the Ensemble Academy of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, where she had lessons with Love Persson. In Zurich she studied violin in the variant subject with David Sinclair.

In addition to the artistic major double bass, Elisabeth Büttner studied methodology for double bass with Song Choi in Stuttgart and worked as a tutor for double bass at the Stuttgart University of Music. In Zurich she supplemented her pedagogical education with the Master of Arts in Music Pedagogy under the supervision of Andreas Cincera. She has been teaching double bass since August 2014 and ear training since 2016 as part of the talent promotion of the canton of Thurgau at the Weinfelden Music School (TG).

In the 2011/2012 season, Elisabeth Büttner was academician at the Stuttgart Philharmonic, in September 2013 and July 2014, she was a volunteer at the Zurich Opera (Philharmonia Zurich).

As a freelance double bass player, Elisabeth Büttner regularly performs with Swiss orchestras and ensembles such as: Orchestra of Europe, le phénix, 21st Century Orchestra, Zuger Sinfonietta, Ensemble le buisson prospérant (Zurich / Bern), Bern Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Switzerland, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Opera Zurich (Philharmonia Zurich).

Ricardo Tapadinhas

Ricardo is a Double bassist that Graduated with Honours at the Escola de Música de Lisboa (ESML). During this time he studied with Yuri Axenov and Manuel Rêgo.

He started developing his teaching experience in 2010 joining Orquestra Geração Sistema Portugal and also becoming an Assistance Professor at Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa. Although he has started at the age of 20 he has worked extensively with many Portuguese Orchestras obtaining Principal (FOE European Capital of Culture and Co-Principal positions (Gulbenkian Orchestra). Because of this he had the chance to work with Susanna Mälkki, Lawrence Foster, Gustavo Dudamel, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and many many others.

In 2015 he moved to Scotland and currently he his Principal Bass Player at Classical Concert Chamber Orchestra and works as an extra player in BBC Scottish and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. 

Ricardo is a member of „The Bassmonsters“ since 2016.