Hans Sturm

Hans is a very important faculty member to the KCBassworkshop. He is the first person besides George Vance to say just make the workshop and I’ll be there to help you. This kind of support from my heroes and friends were the reason Johnny had the confidence to start the workshop. Hans is also the only faculty member besides Johnny who has been at every workshop. Johnny likes to say he’s the other administrator. He is the first person called when there is something to be pondered about KCBASS. You probably should included Jackie as the other part of this faculty equation as she keeps us flying straight and not forgetting what the overall mission is: To have bass players come together as a family. Or as Hans always says “BASS LOVE”.

There are so many great stories about Hans and KCBASS that we would need a page just to dedicated to that one. However, the song that he wrote about kc bbq maybe the easiest way to guide you to the love all of KC has for both Hans and Jackie. So after the third year Hans and some other faculty members were starting to really use the week to eat “at every bbq place in KC” Something Johnny would just roll his eyes at……. segue to Johnny’s father always saying “you can throw a rock in any direction in kc and hit a great bbq place”. So Johnny just unleashed a list of places Hans didn’t even know existed such as the best one LC’s. Hans took it all in and next year he’d tried them all and had his favorite dishes from every place (something everyone should know about kc bbq is that each one does one thing really better than the others). He’s a very smart man and now…. maybe now can say he’s pretty well versed in kc bbq. Or at least Johnny would recommend you follow him unless you are following Johnny or the real natives of kc. Thank you Hans for all of your work in making KCBASS one of the best weeks of the year for all of us bass players. Johnny is the first one to say we couldn’t have done it without you. So when you come to KCBASS don’t forget to bring your appetite as well….

Double bassist Hans Sturm has performed as soloist, chamber, orchestral, jazz and improvisational musician throughout Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and the United States. Sturm received his doctorate from Northwestern University and, prior to his appointment to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies and Coordinator of the String Department at Ball State University for seventeen years, now Professor Emeritus.

Sturm has appeared with a variety of artists across the spectrum of jazz music including Eddie Daniels, Phil Woods, Randy Brecker, Dick Hyman, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Eddie Higgins, David Baker, Stanley Jordan, Peter Erskine, Joe LaBarbera, Alan Dawson, Bela Fleck, Howard Levy and many others. A frequent performer of chamber music, Sturm has toured with ‘Fireflight’ (soprano, Japanese koto and bass koto, double bass, and percussion) and ‘Trinkle Brass Works Trio’ (trumpet, marimba and double bass) for more than twenty years. He has worked in the electronic medium with composers such as Cleveland Scott and Joan Wildman. As an orchestral bassist, he has served as principal bassist of numerous regional orchestras including the Lincoln Symphony, Muncie Symphony, Quad Cities Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Madison Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, Dorian Opera, Rockford Symphony, Racine Symphony and toured Europe as a member of the American Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra.

Highlights of Sturm’s festival appearances include the Beijing International Chamber Music Festival; the Faneza International Chamber Music Festival in various cities in Emilia Romagna, Italy; the Scottish Bass Trust’s International Convention and the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh Scotland; the College Music Society International Conference in Kyoto, Japan; Encontro de instrumentistas in Joao Pessoa and Belo Horizonte, Brazil; the Biennial International Symposium on Arts and Technology in New London, Connecticut; a State Department tour of Morocco; BASS2008 Paris Conservatoire, BASS2010 at the Universitat der Kunst in Berlin, BASS2012 in the Royal Opera House, Copenhagen, and BASS2018 at the Boccherini Conservatory in Lucca, Italy; International Society of Bassists Conventions in eight states; and jazz festivals and clubs throughout the U.S. including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Atlanta.

He has served as Jury Chair for the American String Teacher’s Association Double Bass Solo Competition and the International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition, as well as judge for the International Society of Bassists Solo, 14-18, and Composition Competitions as well as various competitions in France, Italy, Brazil, and China.

Sturm has contributed performances and compositions to more than forty recordings with artists including the Pro Arte String Quartet, soprano Mimmi Fulmer, vocalist Jackie Allen, synthesist/composer Joan Wildman, guitarists Scott Fields, Rolf Sturm, Dave Baney, Jeff Parker, and Jack Grassel, trumpeters Bob Levy and David Young, and pianists Jane Reynolds, and Marilyn Crispell. He has recorded for Blue Note (EMI), Avant Bass, Centaur, A440, Innova, Red Mark, Music and Arts, CRI, Big Chicago, and Cadence labels among others.

Inspired by his work with international artist-teacher François Rabbath, Sturm developed, designed, and produced two state-of-the-art DVD projects, The Art of the Bow (2005) and The Art of the Left Hand (2010). Both DVDs employ the same advanced technology found in films such as Avatar and Lord of the Rings to create a pedagogical method, incorporating 3D biomechanics animations with user-selectable camera angles, live performances, interviews, and lecture demonstrations. They have been described in Strings Magazine as “revolutionary… the most profound teaching tool I’ve seen.” The Strad called the DVDs “fascinating… whether you are a keen amateur or a serious professional, no bass player’s education is complete without having experienced Rabbath’s demonstrations.”

Hans Sturm is a Past President and currently President-Elect of the International Society of Bassists and has served on the organization’s board of directors for over twelve years. He served for six years as New Music Editor for the ISB’s journal ‘Bass World’. He served on the summer chamber music and jazz faculty of the National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University for ten years. His major teachers have included jazz virtuoso Richard Davis, classical soloist Jeff Bradetich, Pittsburgh Symphony Principal Bass Emeritus Anthony Bianco, Philadelphia Orchestra bassist Ferdinand Maresh, and international soloist and pedagogue François Rabbath. He currently lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife, Blue Note recording artist Jackie Allen, and holds the positions of Hixson Lied Professor Professor of Double Bass & Jazz Studies and Coordinator of the String and Jazz Areas at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and Executive & Artistic Director of the Meadowlark Music Festival. 

Click here to visit Hans Sturm website