Michael Martin

Michael Martin is a freelance double bassist and teaching artist in the Chicago area. Formerly, he was a Diversity Fellow with the Cincinnati Symphony, an Associate Member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and a fellow in the New World Symphony for three seasons. A busy freelancer, his concert appearances include playing with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from Northwestern University and Oberlin Conservatory of Music in double bass performance. He lives in Evanston, Illinois with his fiancée Rose, their tuxedo cat named “Tofu”, and an ever-growing collection of houseplants. Michael began his study of the double bass with Suzuki teacher Domenick Fiore in early high school, and quickly discovered a deep love of the double bass in all its musical capacities. He has since studied with a number of mentors and professors who have shaped his artistic development, including Joseph Conyers, Tracy Rowell, Andrew Raciti, Owen Lee, and Alexander Hanna. Throughout his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Michael developed a passion for string pedagogy, and is currently on faculty at the VIA Academy in Miami Beach, Florida and Bass Works Maryland during his summers. As part of his graduate degree, he studied string pedagogy with cello pedagogues Hans Jørgen Jensen and Cornelia Watkins-Dyer, whose seminal insights continue to inform his teaching and playing. In addition to orchestral playing, Michael found an appreciation of contemporary music in his time at Oberlin Conservatory, and can be heard on the album Songtree performing the music of Ricardo Zohn Muldoon alongside faculty of the Eastman School in the Zohn Collective. Michael is the subject of an episode of the Slate podcast How To! by Charles Duhigg on peak performance. He is also the creator of Black Reflections, a three-part panel discussion series on racial justice in music, featuring Black luminaries of classical music and jazz such as Chi-chi Nwanoku, Christian McBride, and Dr. Tammy Kernodle. Michael plays a modern instrument made for him in 2019 by Christopher Savino, and a bow by acclaimed French bowmaker Jean Grunberger.