Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: making great music personal

Edward Meares

Edward Meares is certainly no stranger to the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

He joined LACO in 1972 at the age of 20, acting as LACO principal bass under music directors Sir Neville Marriner and Gerard Schwarz. Since then, he has held the position of principal bass with the Pasadena Symphony, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the California and Colorado chamber orchestras. A former member of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, he has also appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Pacific Symphony.

Active as a period instrument performer, he was a member of Pacific Classical Winds, America’s only original instrument Harmoniemusik ensemble, and he appeared on Santa Fe Pro Musica’s period instrument series.

As a performer of contemporary music, Ed played literally dozens of concerts on LA’s long-running Monday Evening Concerts series under impresarios Lawrence Morton and Dorrance Stalvey. He is a former member of CalArts 20th Century Players and has appeared as guest artist numerous times with the California Ear Unit. In 1975 he was a guest performer at the Charles Ives Centenary celebration at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Ed has been honored to work with the dean of American composers, Elliot Carter, twice in performances of the master’s chamber works.

Ed is a veteran session player. He has recorded more than 1,200 film scores and has served as principal bass on film scores by Academy-Award®-winning composers Elmer Bernstein, Bill Conti, Georges Delerue, Elliot Goldenthal, Jerry Goldsmith, Dave Grusin, Maurice Jarre, Leonard Rosenman, John Williams and Hans Zimmer.

In the popular and jazz music field, he has recorded with a diverse array of artists including Frank Sinatra, System of a Down, Neil Diamond, John Pattitucci, Diana Krall and Frank Zappa. In addition, he has toured as principal bass with both Barbra Streisand and Keith Jarrett.

Ed has performed chamber music with colleagues from virtually every major symphony orchestra in North America while participating in the Aspen, Grand Teton, Colorado, Oregon Bach, Bath (UK), Strawberry Creek and Ojai music festivals.

While still in high school, Ed studied early music performance practices with Alphonse Carlo at Rollins College, in his hometown of Winter Park, Florida, before continuing his musical education at New England Conservatory and CalArts. His primary bass teachers were Hilde Hagburg, Buell Neidlinger (another former LACO principal bass) and William Rhein. He is a former professor of double bass at Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton and Pomona College.

Ed is married to Robin, his organic gardening partner, who gets to share the fruits of his other hobby — cooking. Their son Ben is an aspiring writer. Daughter Julianna is a music therapy major at Cal State Northridge.

Edward Meares

photo Jeff Bandy

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