Double Bass

Michael Nigrin

Miscellaneous Information

First year with SO: 2007

Hometown: Staten Island, NY

Instrument: Michael owns several double basses, all very fine instruments. His primary instrument was made by Carlo Antonio Testore, in the year 1763 and it is possible Ludwig Van Beethoven heard its beautiful tone.

Michael's double bass bows on the other hand are extremely special to him, as they were made by a retired engineer from Venice, Florida, David Gourlay. When Michael was principal bassist with the then Florida West Coast Symphony, Mr. Gourlay approached Michael after a rehearsal in Holly Hall with a bow he had created. Michael liked it and purchased it on the spot! Afterwards, Michael had ideas about new bows with different wood types which he and Mr. Gourlay worked together to create. Michael uses those bows to this day. The bows are unique and extremely personal to Michael as they reflect the good will and ingenuity of this highly talented bow maker.

Master of Arts – The Juilliard School, Bachelor of Fine Arts – Carnegie Mellon University

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and up until age seventeen he was completely self-taught in the jazz/rock fusion style playing the electric bass, after which in preparation for college took up the double bass with teacher David Izenzon, and Jules Hirsh. After a two-year preparation at Brooklyn College's Music Program, he transferred to Carnegie Mellon University under scholarship to study with bass teacher Anthony Bianco. Subsequently, he auditioned for and received scholarship to study with Homer Mensch and Eugene Levinson at the Juilliard School in NY.

After graduating school he accepted a position as Principal Bassist with the then New Orleans Symphony with conductor Maxim Shostakovich. As financial hardships plagued the symphony in New Orleans, LA, Mr. Nigrin accepted a position as Principal Bassist with the Florida West Coast Symphony where he performed for two seasons. Subsequently, he returned to NY State to perform with the Buffalo Philharmonic where he is currently employed.

Michael's passions and interests are his family, which consists of his beautiful wife, two wonderful daughters, and the almighty Lord who permeates in all things that we experience.  Outside of musical endeavors, which take a great amount of time and commitment from day to day, Michael enjoys reading about and learning new technologies, and their everyday applications.

Career Highlights:
In the countless tours and recordings Michael has participated in as member of the Buffalo Philharmonic with Maestra JoAnn Falletta, one concert at Carnegie Hall sticks out in his mind. The Buffalo Philharmonic performed Symphony No. 3 in B minor "Ilya Muromets" by composer Reinhold Glière, as part of the 'Spring for Music' series. Prior to working on that piece, Michael didn't realize that it actually has a cult following, and now he can consider himself a member of the cult.

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