Acclaimed for his musicality and virtuosity, Volkan Orhon has established himself as one of the top double bassists in the world today. He was a finalist and prizewinner in the Concert Artists Guild Solo Competition in New York City, and was the co-first place winner of the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition. Additionally, he distinguished himself as the first double bass player ever to win the grand prize overall and first prize for double bass at the American String Teacher’s Association Solo Competition.
Mr. Orhon has performed with internationally recognized musicians including Gary Karr, Fazil Say, and the Emerson String Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet and has played solos with orchestras and recitals around the world. He was one of the performers for the international consortium of Pulitzer Winner composer John Harbison’s Concerto for Bass Viol and Orchestra. He was recently a featured soloist at the Polish World Bass Festival, performing the Bottesini Concerto No. 2 with the Academy Orchestra under the direction of Franco Petracchi. An avid chamber musician, Orhon recently has been a guest with the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, Ouro Branco Festival in Brazil, Roycroft Chamber Music Festival (NY) and the Saint Vincent College Chamber Music Series (PA). He has also performed at prestigious festivals including the Montreux, Saint Denis-Paris, Antibes, Montpellier, Istanbul, and Izmir jazz festivals.
As an orchestra musician, he served as principal double bass in the Orchestra Iowa and performed with the Detroit Symphony, Hartford Symphony and Connecticut Opera Orchestra. As a pedagogue, Mr. Orhon has been an invited clinician to workshops across the U.S. and abroad, including Bass2010 Berlin World Bass Festival, Ouro Branco Festival in Brazil, World Bass Festival in Paris – France, Suzuki Association of the Americas and the International Society of Bassists. He has given recitals and master classes at institutions including the Bursa State Conservatory and Eskisehir Anatolian University (Turkey), Arizona State University, University of Michigan, Butler University, Northwestern University and North Carolina School of the Arts. He has served on the faculties of the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, The Hartt School Community Division of the University of Hartford, Kinhaven Music School (VT) and Summer Strings Music Festival in Pocatello, Idaho.
Born and raised in Turkey, Mr. Orhon began playing the double bass at the age of 12, and spent much of his youth touring Europe with the Mediterranean Youth Soloists. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from the Ankara State Conservatory under the tutelage of Tahir Sumer, he became a member of the Ankara Presidential Symphony Orchestra. In 1991, Mr. Orhon came to the United States to continue his studies with Gary Karr at The Hartt School of Music, where he earned an Artist Diploma and Master of Music.
Mr. Orhon is currently professor of double bass and string area head at the University of Iowa. He is a D’Addario Diamond Performing Artist.
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