Bassist and composer.
Edgar Meyer is an innovative bassist and composer who has worked prominently in several genres, including classical, jazz, and bluegrass. Born November 24, 1960, he grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where he took lessons in double bass from his father. Later, he studied at Indiana University with acclaimed double bass teacher Stuart Sankey.
Meyer’s recordings of classical music include a 2002 album of concerti for bass—some of which he composed; several albums featuring such classic works as Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet and Bach’s Unaccompanied Suites for Cello; and a self-titled solo recording (2006) for which he wrote and performed all of the pieces on a variety of instruments. Additionally, Meyer has composed a violin concerto, a triple concerto for double bass, banjo, and tabla (co-written and performed with Béla Fleck and Zakir Hussain), as well as pieces for double bass and piano, for violin and piano, and a Quintet for Bass and String Quartet.
Meyer’s performances and recordings in the progressive bluegrass vein include participation in several collaborations, including a duo with Chris Thile; a duo with Béla Fleck; a quartet with Joshua Bell, Sam Bush, and Mike Marshall; and a trio with Béla Fleck and Mike Marshall.
On two commercially and critically successful albums—Appalachia Waltz (1996) and Appalachian Journey (2000)—Meyer worked with Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O’Connor, interpreting traditional and popular material in a chamber music setting. Several other virtuosic collaborative albums—especially Skip, Hop, and Wobble (1993), Uncommon Ritual (1997), and Short Trip Home (1999)—showcased Meyer’s influential contributions to the Americana genre.
In 2000, Meyer won the Avery Fisher Prize and in 2002 was named a MacArthur Fellow. These awards highlight Meyer’s virtuosity and originality in playing the double bass as well as his crossing and blurring of musical boundaries. Meyer has served as adjunct associate professor of double bass at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, as well as visiting professor of double bass at the Royal Academy of Music and the Curtis Institute.
Cite this Entry
"Edgar Meyer," Encyclopedia of Appalachia, 2017, Encyclopedia of Appalachia. 25 May 2017 <http://www.encyclopediaofappalachia.com/entry.php?rec=12>
"Edgar Meyer." (2017) In Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Retrieved May 25, 2017, from Encyclopedia of Appalachia: http://www.encyclopediaofappalachia.com/entry.php?rec=12