Jessica Powell Eig: The Cuckoo’s Egg …or Just Plain Cuckoo? Transcriptions of Early Music for Double Basses

Jessica Powell EigMany bass play­ers are famil­iar with the Sonata Undec­imo in g minor by Henry Eccles, thanks to Fred Zimmermann’s 1951 edi­tion. After all, what more could any player ask for, than a beau­ti­ful melody over a great bass line? Drag­onetti real­ized the poten­tial of the vio­lin sonata lit­er­a­ture, adapt­ing the works of Corelli for bass and cello. Jes­sica Pow­ell Eig and Phillip Serna will take this tra­di­tion of bor­row­ing a step fur­ther, pre­sent­ing a pro­gram of tran­scrip­tions for two dou­ble basses from the sev­en­teenth and eigh­teenth cen­tury sonata, duet and con­sort lit­er­a­ture, with the aim of bring­ing to light more piece like the Eccles sonata, and sug­gest­ing an approach to per­for­mance that is prac­ti­cal, sat­is­fy­ing, and his­tor­i­cally informed. Includ­ing works by Eccles, Corelli, Schenck, Tele­mann, Sag­gione, Michael East, and Orlando Gib­bons. This recital is pre­sented in con­junc­tion with Phillip Serna’s June 7 lecture.

Dr. Jes­sica Pow­ell Eig is a free­lance musi­cian based in Wash­ing­ton, DC., spe­cial­iz­ing in dou­ble bass, vio­lone and viola da gamba. Dur­ing 2012–2013, she appeared with The Bach Sin­fo­nia, Musica Angel­ica Baroque Orches­tra, National Cathe­dral Baroque Orches­tra, and the New Orches­tra of Wash­ing­ton, among oth­ers. In addi­tion to her work as a per­former, Jes­sica is active as a teach­ing artist and clin­i­cian.  She is the direc­tor of the Viola da Gamba Soci­ety of Amer­ica Young Play­ers Work­shop and her writ­ing on class­room out­reach has appeared in Early Music Amer­ica.  She main­tains a pri­vate stu­dio of approx­i­mately fifty piano, cello, dou­ble bass and viola da gamba students.

In 2010, Jes­sica com­pleted her doc­tor­ate in dou­ble bass at SUNY-Stony Brook as a stu­dent of Joseph Carver and Kurt Muroki, where her research focused on the music of Sofia Gubaidulina. She received her ear­lier train­ing at CCM, East­man and Juil­liard, study­ing with Albert Las­zlo, James Van­De­mark, and the late Homer Men­sch. Jes­sica has stud­ied his­tor­i­cal bass and viola da gamba as a stu­dent of Chris­tel Thiel­mann, Joseph Carver, and Martha McGaughey. She is cur­rently pur­su­ing fur­ther pri­vate study in his­tor­i­cal bass with Rob Nairn.

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