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Double Bass Master Performs Feb. 22

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February 14, 2006 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Double bassist DaXun Zhang, the Northwestern University School of Music’s newest faculty member, will perform a program of classic and modern compositions at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place, Evanston campus.

His program will include works by Massanet, Beethoven, Bottesini, Sarasate, Saint-Saëns as well as traditional Chinese music.

Zhang, the 2002 winner of the American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition, also was the first double bassist to win the Young Concert Artists Auditions and is the youngest winner to date of the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition.

In 2004 and 2005, Zhang performed and toured with the legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, with an appearance at New York’s Carnegie Hall in September 2004, followed by concerts in Japan and California during summer 2005.  Zhang joined Ma and the ensemble in the recording of the soundtrack to a 10-part documentary series on the Silk Road for Japan’s national broadcast channel, NHK. The soundtrack compact disc has been released on Sony Classical.

Zhang has made solo appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Pacific Symphony of California, and also has played at New York’s 92nd St. Y (a world-renowned community and cultural center), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., and the Sherwood Auditorium at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, Calif.

During the 2005-06 season, he will perform at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia, Wash., and the Embassy Series in Washington D.C.

Zhang hails from a family of bass players in Harbin, China. He began playing the double bass at age nine, and started studying at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing at age 11. He continued on to the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied with Lawrence Hurst and received an Artists Diploma.

Zhang joined the School of Music faculty in fall 2005 as a lecturer in double bass performance. At 24, he is the youngest faculty member.

Tickets to Zhang’s Feb. 22 program are $8.50 for the general public, $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff, and $4 for students. To order tickets or for more information, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 491-5441.