International Society of Bassists

ISB Awards

Larry Hurst
Larry Hurst accepts the 2013 ISB Distinguished Achievement Award from his former student DaXun Zhang, professor of double bass at the University of Texas at Austin (photo by Judy Kirtley)

Every two years, the International Society of Bassists gives its Distinguished Achievement Award, the Society's highest honor, to a bassist who has demonstrated and attained the highest level of excellence, and whose career has had significant influence on the worldwide double bass community. The 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award honoree is Lawrence Hurst. Larry started studying the double bass through the public school system of his hometown, Norfolk, VA, at age 13. After serving two years with the Seventh Army Symphony under Sir Georg Solti he joined the music faculty at the University of Michigan, where he chaired the string department and was associate dean. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and became chair of the string department in 1987. In 1967, he joined the summer faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp and has taught there every summer since. His students can be found in orchestras and musical venues all over the world, including the orchestras of Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Atlanta, The Metropolitan Opera, St. Louis and Milwaukee. In 2005 he was awarded ASTA's Artist/Teacher of the Year Award, and in 2006, the ISB, which he served as president from 1993-1995, honored him with its Special Recognition Award for Teaching Award. As he becomes professor emeritus, his former students from Indiana University and the University of Michigan have created the Lawrence P. Hurst Medal in Double Bass, to be given annually in association with a scholarship in his name.

In addition, the ISB also gives a number of Special Recognition Awards, presented biennially to recognize those who has contributed their special talents, knowledge and support to furthering ISB ideals. 2013 recipients include:

Composition - Rufus Reid
Lutherie - Arnold Schnitzer
Scholarship - David A. Moore
Teaching - Harold Robinson
Solo Performance - Catalin Rotaru
Jazz Performance - Christian McBride
Orchestral Performance - Timothy Cobb
Historically Informed Performance - James Lambert
Collaborative Music - Dianne Frazer
Young Bassists Ambassador - John Kennedy
Special Merit - Jon Deak
Friend of the Bass - Acoustic Image
Friend of the Bass - The Eastman School of Music
Friend of the Bass - Barrie Kolstein
Friend of the Bass - J.C. Jones

Click here to see a list of past ISB Award winners.


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