Edgar Meyer


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
Read more the son 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 26-37 of 37 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Listen To The Storyteller - Marsalis, Meyer, Doyle
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60283 Release Date: 09/07/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Patrick Doyle,  Edgar Meyer,  Wynton Marsalis
    Performer:  Kate Winslet,  Graham Greene,  Jerry Douglas,  Edgar Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Steven Mercurio,  Robert Sadin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's
    CD: $8.99
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  • 27.
    Baby Needs Beethoven
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1610 Release Date: 03/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Shifrin,  Milan Turkovic,  Edgar Meyer,  Fred Sherry  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center,  Oxford String Quartet,  New York Chamber Symphony  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 28.
    Adolphe: Marita And Her Heart's Desire;  Britten / Perlman
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80460 Release Date: 11/24/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Bruce Adolphe
    Performer:  Nancy Allen,  David Taylor,  David Shifrin,  Stephen Taylor  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Bruce Adolphe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
    CD: $17.99
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  • 29.
    Baby Needs Baroque
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1609 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Allan Vogel,  Patricia Mabee,  Paul Galbraith,  Nancy Sartain  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  New York Chamber Symphony,  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 30.
    Serene Journeys through Classical Music
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1608 Release Date: 09/22/1998   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  William Henry Harris,  Peter Hallock,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger,  Todd Wilson,  Eric Plutz,  Mark Kruczek  ... 
    Conductor:  Donald Pearson,  Dennis Keene,  Gerard Schwarz,  Zdenek Macal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Denver St. John's Episcopal Cathedral Choirs,  Voices of Ascension,  Ascension Music Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 31.
    Meyer: Quintet; Rorem: Quartet No 4 / Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453506 Release Date: 04/14/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ned Rorem,  Edgar Meyer
    Performer:  David Finckel,  Philip Setzer,  Lawrence Dutton,  Eugene Drucker  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 32.
    Bach: The Six Brandenburg Concertos / Cms Of Lincoln Center
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3185 Release Date: 08/22/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Ani Kavafian,  Todd Phillips,  Paul Neubauer,  Steven Tenenbom  ... 
    Conductor:  David Shifrin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
    CD: $34.99
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  • 33.
    Mystery Classics
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1601 Release Date: 07/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Maurice Ravel,  Louis Vierne,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Carol Rosenberger,  David Britton,  Ani Kavafian  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  Eleazar de Carvalho
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sequoia String Quartet,  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Chamber Music Northwest  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 34.
    Beethoven In New York / Chamber Music Society Lincoln Center
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3177 Release Date: 01/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ransom Wilson,  Ani Kavafian,  Paul Neubauer,  Milan Turkovic  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
    CD: $17.99
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  • 35.
    O'connor: Fiddle Concerto; String Quartet
    Label: Warner Brothers   Catalog: 45846 Release Date: 03/28/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mark O'Connor
    Performer:  Carter Brey,  Edgar Meyer,  Mark O'Connor,  Daniel Phillips
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concordia Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 36.
    Dvorák: Serenade, Quintet / Chamber Music Society
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3152 Release Date: 01/31/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Ani Kavafian,  Paul Neubauer,  Gary Hoffman,  Edgar Meyer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
    CD: $17.99
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  • 37.
    Nielsen, Loeffler, Prokofiev / Chamber Music Northwest
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3136 Release Date: 06/10/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Charles Martin Loeffler,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Ransom Wilson,  Julie Feves,  David Jolley,  Allan Vogel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Northwest
    CD: $17.99
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