Imig Music Building
Professor of double bass Paul Erhard’s performances include solo recitals, concertos, orchestra, chamber music, jazz, improvised raga music of India, and solo improvisations. His recitals feature traditional solo works, commissioned new works, chamber music, and improvisation. As a concerto soloist, Erhard premiered in February 2020 the L. Subramaniam Double Concerto for Violin and Double Bass with Dr. L. Subramaniam, violin, and the CU Symphony Orchestra, Gary Lewis, conductor. He also recently performed the Nino Rota Divertimento Concertante double bass concerto with four orchestras in Colorado and Washington. As the winner of the 1984 Juilliard Double Bass Concerto Competition, Erhard performed the Virgil Mortari Double Bass Concerto at Lincoln Center in New York City with conductor Isaah Jackson. An active chamber musician, his collaborations with the Grammy-winning Takács Quartet include the Schubert Trout Quintet in 2019 at Lincoln Center, New York City.
Erhard has served as a jury member for prestigious solo competitions including the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Johann-Matthias-Sperger Solo Competition in Germany, the 2017 and 2011 International Double Bass Solo Competition in Markneukirchen, Germany, and the International Society of Bassists Senior Solo Division in 2011. He has given master classes at many schools including Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, DePaul University, Hartt School of Music, Indiana University, Interlochen Arts Academy, Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music, U of Michigan, Peabody Conservatory, Western Michigan University, Texas Christian U, U of Texas at Austin, and music schools in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Singapore, Slovakia, and Spain.
Currently principal double bass of the ProMusica Colorado Chamber Orchestra and for decades the principal bass of the Boulder Bach Festival, Erhard was principal bass of the Soviet Émigré Orchestra, the Albany Symphony and Queens Philharmonic in New York, and assistant principal bass of the Kalamazoo Symphony prior to joining the CU College of Music. In addition he spent summers performing with the Colorado Music Festival and Teton Music Festival, along with attending Aspen Music Festival, Yale Norfolk Summer Program, and the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors.
Since 1998, Erhard has explored adapting the improvised solo double bass to the classical music of India. In 2005 and 2007, Bangalore India-based flutist Butto Pattanaik and tabla drummer Muthu Kumar and Erhard toured the USA with their Indo-Western fusion trio ATMIC VISION. Erhard and his singer and cellist sons have performed close to 50 concerts with their “Indo-Western fusion with a twist of jazz” family trio SANDS AROUND INFINITY. A 2013-2015 Fulbright scholar, Paul’s research project “Training the Musical Mind” explored how musicians in India use tambura drones to help playing in tune.
Erhard founded the Rocky Mountain Double Bass Festival in 1992 to help younger bass players in middle and high school learn good double bass technique and take pride in their crucial role in school orchestra. The 15th Festival in October 2018 brought together 108 double bassists from beginner 5th graders through professionals for technique classes, masterclasses, and to perform on the CU College of Music Grusin Stage in the Monster Bass Ensemble Orchestra.
A native of White Plains NY, Erhard began playing the double bass at age 11. He earned his Masters and Doctoral degrees from The Juilliard School, his Bachelors from Eastman School of Music, and also studied for two years in Germany at the Munich Music Hochschule. His double bass teachers have included Homer Mensch, Stuart Sankey, Larry Hutchinson, James VanDemark, Georg Hoertnagel, Franz Ortner, and Dr. Lyn Christie.