2016 Featured Alumni

This year Robin Kesselman will be featured as a distinguished alumni for the Richard Davis Foundation’s 23rd annual bass conference! We are very pleased that he can make it back after graduating college and moving on into the professional world of being a performer. We’re looking forward to the expertise in orchestral bass playing, and energy he will bring to the conference both as a teacher and as a performer !

Get to know Robin a bit, by reading his bio below: 

Robin Kesselman, 2016 RDYB Featured Alumni

Robin Kesselman was appointed Principal Bass of the Houston Symphony Orchestra by Maestro Andrés Orozco­Estrada. He has performed as Guest Principal Bass with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, travelled internationally with both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and appeared with the National, Atlanta, and Baltimore Symphonies.

Outside of the orchestra Kesselman frequently performs as a soloist and chamber musician as well as giving masterclasses around the country and abroad. During the 2016 – 17 season, the Houston Symphony will feature him as a soloist performing the Koussevitzky Concerto for Double Bass. Recently, he was also featured as a soloist at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall as a part of the Curtis Chamber Orchestra’s residency with Krzysztof Penderecki performing his Duo Concertante. In the summers, Kesselman has attended such festivals as the Pacific, Sarasota, and Aspen Music Festivals, as well as being a prizewinning fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. Also, he served as guest faculty for the summer residency of the Youth Philharmonic of Colombia.

A native of Wheaton, Illinois, Robin grew up in a musical family. His parents are choral directors and his sister is a soprano. He began his undergraduate studies at the Colburn School of Music before completing his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Southern California in 2012. He went on to receive his Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in December of 2014. Kesselman’s primary teachers have been David Allen Moore, Harold Robinson, Edgar Meyer, Paul Ellison, Chris Hanulik, and Virginia Dixon.

Example Schedule

Ever wonder what it is that students actually do at the Richard Davis Foundation bass conference?

Wonder no more – below is an example of a schedule a young bassist might receive. All students have customized schedules, carefully laid out by an expert clinician who has been working with young bassists for over 30 years.

Students are placed into warm up classes, bass orchestra parts, and their  quartet/trio/quintet with others who are around the similar age and playing level -based on the information that students provide in their registration forms.

Independent of the aforementioned placement factors, students maintain a high level of freedom in their schedule, to choose to attend sessions which interest them, whether that is playing or watching masterclasses/recitals, choosing which special topic class they’d like to go to, or what flex time option they’d like to participate in.

Although core curriculum stays the same basically from year to year, new classes, teachers, music, and class themes are brought fourth every year. Students who attend years in a row are guaranteed a different experience every time. As students grow in their abilities and their interests change or mature, they will always find something new to take home with them.

Click link below to see an example of a student schedule:

RDYB Example Student Schedule (Click Here)