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Paul Erhard

Paul Erhard

Dr. Paul Erhard performs as a soloist and teaches internationally in Europe and Asia, as well as throughout the USA.  His solo recitals promote the vocal beauty and richness of the double bass through a unique blend of traditional and contemporary double bass solo repertoire.  He has performed as a concerto soloist with orchestras in New York, Colorado, Kansas, and Hawaii.  Paul Erhard is the winner of the 1984 Juilliard Double Bass Concerto Competition, performing the Mortari Concerto at Lincoln Center with conductor Isaah Jackson.  Frequent chamber music collaborations with wide variety of performers have included Schubert’s Trout Quintet with the Takács String Quartet.  He has worked extensively as a jazz bassist in New York, Colorado, and Munich, and was a member of the Eastman School of Music Jazz Ensemble I.  Paul Erhard is principal double bass of the Boulder Bach Festival, and was principal bass of the Soviet Émigré Orchestra and the Albany Symphony in New York.

As a leading double bass performer exploring raga music of India, Paul Erhard’s pioneering efforts led him to form the Indo-American Fusion trio Atmic Vision ( in 2004 with two of India’s leading musicians, bansuri flutist Annada Prasanna Pattanaik and tabla drummer Muthu Kumar.  With critically acclaimed tours in 2005, ’07 and ’08, Atmic Vision has performed 43 concerts in 10 states and Paris, and given 50+ Indian music workshops for 9000+ students.  A long-time singer in the Metropolitan Opera writes “Each member of Atmic Vision is stunning in his virtuosity.  Atmic Vision’s music has an indomitable and irrepressible life force.  This is only the beginning of an even more profound capacity to touch audience members with a pureness of joy I no longer thought was possible.”

Dr. Erhard has been a guest clinician at many double bass conferences in the USA and Europe, including BASS 2008 in Paris and BASS 2010 in Berlin.  He has been a jury member for numerous solo competitions in the USA, Europe, and South America, including the 1st, 2nd & 4th Johann-Matthias-Sperger Solo Competition in Germany.  He is one of seven jury members for the upcoming International Double Bass Solo Competition to be held May 5-14, 2011, in Markneukirchen, Germany. He was a guest clinician and master class teacher at the 2008 and 2009 American String Teachers Association Conferences in Albuquerque and Atlanta where he presented his integral approach to double bass technique that incorporates elements of Indian musical technique.  He is also a frequent presenter at the annual Colorado Music Educators Association conferences in Colorado Springs.  In 2009, he was a guest artist at international performers symposium “The Performer’s Voice” at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Dr. Erhard’s primary double bass teachers have been Homer Mensch, James VanDemark, Georg Hörtnagel and Franz Ortner.  He has his Doctorate and Masters degrees from Juilliard, and his undergraduate degree from Eastman School of Music.  Prior to Eastman he studied for two years at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich.  He has participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Grand Teton Festival, Yale Summer Festival, and spent three summers at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors as a student of Maestro Charles Bruck.  Erhard is the founder and director of the Rocky Mountain International Double Bass Festival that fosters excellence, excitement, and camaraderie in double bass performance within Colorado.  Eighty double bassists from 6th grade through professional gathered for the 10th Festival in October 2009.  Guest artists for the 10thFestival included members of the Chicago Symphony, Paris Opera Orchestra (France), Chamber Grup Barcelona 216 (Spain), and Juilliard School/Aspen Festival.

Dr. Erhard has been the Double Bass Professor in the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music since 1986. In addition to double bass teaching, Dr. Erhard teaches “Improvisation for String Players,” drawing upon his experiences with Indian music and Jazz, and the “Orchestral Audition Class.”