Low and Lower

Brooks Whitehouse, cello | Paul Sharpe, double bass
October 12 & 14, 2014
Cellist Brooks Whitehouse and Bassist Paul Sharpe are “Low and Lower,” America’s #1-selling cello/bass duo. This ensemble’s performances are a mash-up of artistry, virtuosity, and satire. Low and Lower has developed a whole new genre in answer to the question, “Cello and bass…seriously?” With MacGyver-like determination they create, inspire and commission works using only the limited materials at hand — a cello, a bass, two voices, a sense of humor, a touch of theater, and a willingness to do almost anything.

Since their inception in 2010, they have traveled the country entertaining audiences with cello/bass chestnuts, brave new works, daring arrangements, vocalizing and storytelling. A live video of Lawrence Dillon’s “Poke” filmed during their 2012 Alaskan tour has gone viral, spreading across the world from the US to Europe, Africa, South America and the Philippines. The comments on the work and its performance range from “brilliant satire” and “I never laughed so hard in my life” to “Facebook has a piece of classical music written about it…this world is “#@$#%!” Continued …

Low and Lower

In the past three months alone, three new works have been written for Low and Lower by composers Joshua Davis, Bruce Tippette and John Allemeier, whose Undercurrents they premiered last November on North Carolina State University’s Arts NOW series to enthusiastic reviews. This winter they will be touring the northeast, with concerts in Portland and Kittery, ME, and New Hampshire where they will appear on Exeter Academy’s Gilbert Concert Series. They will also visit Boston for a studio taping and interview at NPR’s WGBH radio. In Summer 2013, conductor Robert Moody announced that the Winston-Salem Symphony was the lead on a national consortium of orchestras to commission a concerto for Low and Lower from Lawrence Dillon. Low and Lower will premiere the work and tour the country with it in 2014/15.

Cellist Brooks Whitehouse has performed throughout the US and abroad, holding Artists-in-Residence positions at SUNY Stony Brook, the Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY, the University of Virginia and The Tanglewood Music Center. As founding members of The Guild Trio Whitehouse and his wife, violinist Janet Orenstein won both the “USIA Artistic Ambassador” and “Chamber Music Yellow Springs” competitions, and with that ensemble they have performed and held master classes throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Norway, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Portugal, France and Australia. As a soloist Whitehouse has appeared with the Boston Pops, the New England Chamber Orchestra, and the Nashua, New Brunswick, Billings, and Owensboro Symphonies. He has appeared in recital throughout the northeastern United States, and his performances have been broadcast on WQXR’s “McGraw-Hill Young Artist Showcase”, WNYC’s “Around New York,” and the Australian and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation networks. As guest artist he has appeared with the American Chamber Players, the New Millennium Ensemble, the JU Piano Trio, The Apple Hill Chamber Players, the Atelier Ensemble and the New Zealand String Quartet. Whitehouse has recorded for Bridge Records and the Centaur, CRI, and Innova labels, and is Artist/Professor of Cello at UNCSA.

Paul Sharpe is the Artist-Teacher of Double Bass at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and is active internationally as an orchestral and chamber musician and as a soloist. In the past several years he has performed in recital and presented masterclasses at Brazil’s International Double Bass Encounter, France’s Bass2008, the World Bass Festival in Poland, many national and regional double bass symposiums, the Cleveland Institute, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, University of North Texas, and Interlochen Arts Academy. He has performed as soloist with the Anchorage Symphony, Orquestra de Camara Theatro Sao Pedro (Porto Allegre, Brazil), Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, and Aspen Young Artists Orchestra, and greatly enjoys performing with the eclectic bass quartet, “Bad Boys of Double Bass.” Prior to his appointment at UNCSA, he was a tenured professor at Texas Tech University, adjunct faculty at University of North Texas, and an instructor at Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), and the Preucil School of Music. His principal teachers are Jeff Bradetich and Diana Gannett.

Biographical note by Low and Lower

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This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

The Winston-Salem Symphony receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

Educational initiatives made possible with funding by Wells Fargo, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Schools.