Edgar Meyer

Biography

Born: 1961; Oklahoma City, OK  
Edgar Meyer emerged in the 1990s as one of the world's most talented string bass players, at home, remarkably, in both the classical repertory and in bluegrass. He is also a composer whose works achieved wide diffusion in the late 1990s; they served as cornerstones in the efforts of Sony to forge new audiences for classical music by offering compositions with a direct, accessible musical language.

Born in Oklahoma City, Meyer was the son
Read more of a bass player. When he was two or three years old he started imitating his father by holding a broom, pretending it was a bass. He started learning on a real instrument at five years old, taking lessons from his father. The instrument was a 1933 bass made in Czechoslovakia and in use, hanging from someone's ceiling, as a flower planter. Meyer has said that he grew up with the bass as his primary means of personal expression, and became committed to the instrument so early that he is unable to remember a time when he was not playing it. Later he studied with Stuart Sankey, but still credits his father as his primary teacher. He attended Indiana University, studying with James Buswell. Meyer won numerous competitions and from the beginning forged a crossover career, playing with classical musicians as well as popular and country acts. What steered him toward country music was his encounter, in his early twenties, with the virtuosic and complex progressive bluegrass music of the 1980s, as exemplified by such performers as Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and Béla Fleck. He has toured and/or recorded with Garth Brooks, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Hank Williams, Jr., Emmylou Harris, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, the Chieftains, the Indigo Girls, Yo-Yo Ma, Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra, Joshua Bell, and Mark O'Connor. From 1986 to 1992 he was a member of a progressive bluegrass band called Strength in Numbers.

He began to compose around 1990, primarily to write down things that had emerged from "noodling around" and improvising, wanting to "codify" them into pieces. He was a regular performer at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival from 1985 to 1993, and six of his earliest compositions were intended for performance there. He has composed a double bass concerto, a bass quartet, a work called Trout Variations (based on the Schubert song), a string trio, a violin concerto (premiered and recorded by Hilary Hahn), and a double concerto for bass and cello. Much of his music is influenced by bluegrass and traditional American folk styles. In the late '90s and early 2000s, Meyer became an important participant in the American-flavored crossover albums of cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Meyer records exclusively for Sony. He is married to violinist Connie Heard; they have one son. He has been a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1994, and in that same year became the first bassist to win the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 45 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Meyer, Bottesini: Concertos / Edgar Meyer, Bell, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56148 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Bottesini,  Edgar Meyer
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer,  Joshua Bell,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Goat Rodeo Sessions / Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile [Deluxe CD & DVD Set]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 197716 Release Date: 10/22/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Stuart Duncan,  Edgar Meyer,  Chris Thile,  Aoife O'Donovan  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Edgar Meyer,  Chris Thile,  Stuart Duncan  ... 
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  • 3.
    David Shifrin & Friends
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3423 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Hartke,  Ellen Taaffe Zwilich,  Aaron Copland,  Aaron J. Kernis
    Performer:  Anne-Marie McDermott,  Daniel Phillips,  David Shifrin,  Todd Phillips  ... 
    Conductor:  Ransom Wilson
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  • 4.
    Goat Rodeo Sessions / Ma, Duncan, Meyer, Thile [DVD]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 197465 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edgar Meyer,  Aoife O'Donovan,  Chris Thile,  Stuart Duncan  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Edgar Meyer,  Chris Thile,  Stuart Duncan  ... 
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  • 5.
    Goat Rodeo Sessions / Yo-yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile [blu-ray]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 197469 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edgar Meyer,  Aoife O'Donovan,  Chris Thile,  Stuart Duncan  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Edgar Meyer,  Chris Thile,  Stuart Duncan  ... 
    Blu-ray Video: $21.99
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  • 6.
    Goat Rodeo Sessions / Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 784118 Release Date: 10/24/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stuart Duncan,  Edgar Meyer,  Chris Thile,  Aoife O'Donovan
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Chris Thile,  Stuart Duncan  ... 
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  • 7.
    An Appalachian Christmas / Mark O'connor, Renee Fleming, Sharon Isbin, Alison Krauss
    Label: Omac   Catalog: 16 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mel Torme,  Leroy Anderson,  Mykola Dmytrovich Leontov,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer,  Mark O'Connor,  Jane Monheit,  Mark O'Connor  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 8.
    Appalachia Waltz / Yo-Yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56116 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Edgar Meyer,  Mark O'Connor
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer,  Mark O'Connor,  Yo-Yo Ma
    CD: $11.99
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  • 9.
    Stravinsky: Soldier's Tale; Marsalis: Meeelaan
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 28062 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wynton Marsalis,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  David Taylor,  Stefon Harris,  André De Shields,  David Shifrin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orion String Quartet
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  • 10.
    Yo-Yo Ma - 30 Years Outside the Box
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 752307 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 90
    Composer:  Sandeep Das,  Traditional,  Kayhan Kalhor,  Zhou Long  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Gramley,  Kim Dong-Won,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Mark Suter  ... 
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth-Bedoya,  John Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Qi Lin  ... 
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  • 11.
    At Home With Friends / Joshua Bell
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 752716 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodgers,  Ravi Shankar,  Diane Warren,  Antonio Carlos Jobim  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Marvin Hamlisch,  Anoushka Shankar,  Edgar Meyer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tiempo Libre
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  • 12.
    Songs Of Joy And Peace / Yo-Yo Ma & Friends
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 724414 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  John Lennon,  Osvaldo Golijov,  Blossom Dearie  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie MacMaster,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Edgar Meyer,  Chris Thile  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble
    CD: $11.99
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  • 13.
    Songs Of Joy And Peace [Deluxe Edition] / Yo-Yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 733336 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jerome Kern,  Anonymous,  Lowell Mason,  George Harrison  ... 
    Performer:  Diana Krall,  John Clayton,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Paquito D'Rivera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble
    CD: $15.99
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  • 14.
    The Best Of Edgar Meyer / Ma, Bell, O'connor, Fleck, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 713233 Release Date: 09/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edgar Meyer,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Traditional
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer,  Joshua Bell,  Mike Marshall,  Béla Fleck  ... 
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 15.
    The Essential Joshua Bell
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 707416 Release Date: 04/03/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Claude Debussy,  Karl Goldmark  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  John Williams,  Frederic Chiu,  Simon Mulligan  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Michael Stern,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra of St. Luke's,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 16.
    Appassionato / Yo-yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 702668 Release Date: 01/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams,  César Franck,  George Gershwin,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Kathryn Stott,  Jeffrey Kahane  ... 
    Conductor:  Ton Koopman,  Eugene Ormandy,  Ennio Morricone,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 17.
    Edgar Meyer
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 96505 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edgar Meyer
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer
    CD: $6.99
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  • 18.
    Schubert:
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92765 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax,  Rebecca Young  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 19.
    The Essential Yo-Yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 93927 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Carlos Jobim,  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms,  Joseph Brackett  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Kathryn Stott,  Nilson Matta,  Rosa Passos  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Ennio Morricone,  Chen Xieyang,  Tan Dun  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra,  Claude Bolling Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    Music For Two / Meyer, Fleck
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92106 Release Date: 04/27/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Béla Fleck,  Edgar Meyer
    CD: $11.99
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  • 21.
    Echo 20/21  Meyer: String Quintet;  Rorem / Emerson Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000140802 Release Date: 11/11/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ned Rorem,  Edgar Meyer
    Performer:  Eugene Drucker,  Philip Setzer,  Lawrence Dutton,  David Finckel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    CD not available
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  • 22.
    Mendelssohn: Octet, Sextet / Lincoln Center Society
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3266 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer,  David Golub,  Paul Neubauer,  Toby Hoffman  ... 
    Conductor:  David Shifrin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
    CD: $17.99
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  • 23.
    Meyer, Bottesini: Concertos / Edgar Meyer, Bell, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60956 Release Date: 06/11/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edgar Meyer,  Giovanni Bottesini
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Edgar Meyer,  Joshua Bell
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 24.
    Classic Yo-yo / Yo-yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89667 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Joseph Brackett,  Mark O'Connor  ... 
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Alison Krauss,  Mark O'Connor  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Ton Koopman,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shanghai National Orchestra,  Shanghai Symphony Orchestra,  Los Angeles Recording Arts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 25.
    Classical Hits / Brightman, Church, Ma, Pavarotti, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89702 Release Date: 09/11/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mark O'Connor,  Tan Dun,  Carl Orff,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Mark O'Connor,  Edgar Meyer,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Joshua Bell  ... 
    Conductor:  Tan Dun,  John Williams,  David Zinman,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shanghai Symphony Orchestra,  Shanghai Percussion Ensemble,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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