“An omnivorous musician, Samuel Suggs was recently named New Artist of the Month by Musical America after receiving the Gary Karr Prize for 1st place at the 2015 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition in which he performed many of his own compositions. He is the only bassist to win the Beijing International Music Festival Competition, and has performed concertos at the Kennedy Center and Northwestern University.
As a collaborative bassist, he has been a fellow at the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival and a Protégé Artist at Chamber Music Northwest where he additionally performed Hindemith and Frank Zappa on accordion as well as a mixture of jazz and four-hand classical piano in intimate club concerts. Suggs’ ensembles have won the Grand Prize at the 2015 Oneppo Chamber Series Competition, and he has toured internationally to Africa and Europe with his contemporary/jazz group, Triplepoint Trio.
Suggs earned honors studying music theory and cognition at Northwestern University while working as the youngest principal bassist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as a substitute for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW contemporary ensemble, and in various outreach programs including leading the Carlos Chavez Youth Orchestra and performing alongside Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax.
Passionate about music from the 17th and 18th centuries, Suggs has served as principal bass of the inaugural Berwick Academy for Historical Performance at the Oregon Bach Festival, premiered his own construction of Haydn’s lost Violone concerto and has studied harpsichord with Steven Alltop and Arthur Haas.
Suggs has received commissions for fresh arrangements and theatrical/film scores from Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, Phoenix Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Northwest, the Yale School of Drama and Yale School of Art. As a performer-composer, Suggs is committed to expanding the literature of the double bass canon with flattering new music as well as model compositions in various traditional styles, blending formalism and narrative, and drawing from the soup of 21st century agenrality.
Self-published under Mikroseismos Music, his recent work includes Otello Fantasy, which re-contextualizes both the story and function of the standard Verdi opera excerpt into a virtuosic recital piece; a fantasy on the famous Purcell lament for unaccompanied bass, or double bass and soprano; Postlude, a companion piece to David Walter’s (currently) underperformed Prelude; Daft Chaconne, an unaccompanied chaconne interpolating Daft Punk’s electronic favorite, “Around the World”; and Concerto after Haydn, a three-movement concerto modeled after the two surviving measures of Haydn’s Violone concerto – written for standard rather than Viennese tuning. For inquiries, custom projects and more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently a DMA candidate at the Yale School of Music, Suggs has received a Presser Foundation Award, as well as the Dean’s Prize, the school’s highest excellence award, and has studied with many diverse master bassists including Don Palma, Peter Lloyd, Edgar Meyer, DaXun Zhang, Paul Bresciani, Andrew Raciti, Jeff Bradetich, Rob Kassinger, and Jeff Weisner.
Towards the goal of placing all forms of music along a continuum of living, breathing art music, Suggs champions the omnivorous musical appetite of our generation, laying side-by-side the music of Bach, Daft Punk, Messaien, Radiohead, Pärt and treating each work of genius with equal attention to compositional detail. A recent crossover project paired classic Hitchcock film excerpts, evocative cocktails, and bold arrangements of familiar symphonic favorites while re-examining the essence of these artists in the casual setting of a feathered masquerade.