An active chamber musician, Robert Kassinger performs with the Revolution Ensemble, the Orion Ensemble, Fulcrum Point, Ars Viva, Music of the Baroque and the Callisto Ensemble. He also has performed on MusicNOW programs and has been a featured guest with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.
Kassinger is professor of double bass at DePaul University and is a guest instructor at Indiana University. He is in demand as a coach and master clinician, serving in this capacity for the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.
Why did you choose your instrument?
I was always drawn to the sound of the bass guitar on ’60s and ’70s rock recordings, especially Paul McCartney and Carol Kaye. I begged my parents to let me get a bass guitar, but they were apprehensive about me getting into to the rock ’n’ roll world. Eventually they relented, and as my mother related, I stayed in my room for the next four years practicing. A little later, around age 14, I began studying the double bass, as my interest had expanded to jazz. I was a very busy teenager!
What work are you most looking forward to performing in the 2014/15 season, and why?
Next season I am really looking forward to playing Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie, a truly monumental work that encompasses the very old and the very modern, the spiritual and secular, and celebrates everything that I love about French music. As time goes on, I come to a greater appreciation of Messiaen’s music, and I believe our audience will, too.
What is your most memorable CSO performance?
Strauss’ Elektra with Daniel Barenboim at Carnegie Hall in November 1995.
Offstage, I like to:
Spend time with my family, work out at Windy City CrossFit and ride my bike. I also enjoy teaching at DePaul University.
Favorite food or meal:
Anything made by my wife, Carmen, and/or her mother, Adele.
HOMETOWN: Boulder, Colo.
YEAR JOINED THE CSO: 1993.
EDUCATION: University of Colorado, Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School and Indiana University.
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