Upcoming Shows

Contralto | September 13 & 14, 2018


Nina DeCesare | bass

Nina DeCesare began playing the bass at the age of eight, on a tiny quarter size bass, studying with George Vance, the renowned young bassist pedagogue. Through Vance, DeCesare worked closely with the virtuosic François Rabbath throughout the beginning of her bass studies. Other early teachers include Ali Yazdanfar, Ira Gold, and Hal Robinson. As a young bassist, DeCesare competed in the International Society of Bassists’ competitions, winning first place in both the Under-14 and 15-18 age divisions. Later on in her career, she won first place in the UT Bassfest competition and the River Concert Series Concerto Competition, which led to a performance of the Vanhal concerto with the Chesapeake Orchestra.

In 2010, DeCesare began her studies at Rice University with Paul Ellison, earning a Bachelor in Music Performance degree in 2014. During this time, she attended several summer programs and festivals, including Tanglewood Music Center, Sarasota Music Festival, Moritzburg Festival Academy, and Domaine Forget Academy. In 2012, she was awarded Rice University’s Wagoner Fellowship to spend the summer in Paris, studying intensively with François Rabbath. The Shepherd School of Music has a very intensive orchestral program, though she continued to also cultivate her solo playing and represented the Shepherd School with a solo performance at the Kennedy Center in 2014 as a part of the Conservatory Project.

Later in 2014, DeCesare won a section bass position with the Oregon Symphony and subsequently moved to Portland, Oregon to begin her first orchestral job. In addition to her work with the symphony, she has begun teaching privately and as adjunct faculty at Portland State University. She also teaches the beginner double bass classes through Portland Youth Philharmonic. She served on faculty at the KC Bass Workshop in 2015 and will be returning as faculty in the summer of 2016, as well as at the Twin Cities Bass Camp.