The three classical bass teachers at UMD are gifted players with extensive professional experience. They each currently hold prestigious positions in the orchestral world. Together, they form a top-notch team of classical bass teachers, and they’re dedicated to providing superior instruction while guiding students on their musical “journey", wherever it may take them.
If you are considering applying to UMD, please stop by for a trial lesson with one (or all) or our bass teachers.
Richard Barber is the Assistant Principal Bass with the National Symphony Orchestra. Originally from Chicago, Richard Barber began his musical studies with piano at age seven, adding double bass at age nine. He studied privately with bassists from the Chicago Lyric Opera, and in high school, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Although he had strong interest in science and engineering, Mr. Barber found himself unable to choose any career except music. He attended the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he studied with Harold Robinson, currently principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and additionally with Tim Cobb, currently principal bass of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. more>>
Following his studies at Boston University, Mr. Manzo was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami before moving to Norway to play with the Bergen Philharmonic . A year later he joined the Munich Chamber Orchestra, with whom he spent the next seven years performing, recording, and touring around the world. His marriage to cellist Rachel Young led him back to Washington, D.C., where they now live with their two children Adam and Kari. more>>
Robert Oppelt is Principal Bass with the National Symphony Orchestra. In 1982 he was chosen by Mstislav Rostropovich to join the NSO's bass section. Mr. Oppelt was promoted to Assistant Principal Bass in 1984 and in 1996 became Principal Bass under Leonard Slatkin. He has appeared as soloist with the NSO in performances of Mozart's Per queste bella mano, Paganini's Moses Fantasy, and Koussevitsky's Concerto for Double Bass. Chamber music collaborations include performances with Yo-Yo Ma, Hilary Hahn, and Joseph Kalichstein. more>>