D’Addario is proud to recognize Gary Karr as an official D’Addario endorsee. Gary Karr, acclaimed as “the world’s leading solo bassist” (Time Magazine), is in fact, the first solo double bassist in history to make that pursuit a full-time career. All the while, Karr has played D’Addario Helicore Orchestral and Helicore Solo strings for double bass.
“Although I prefer the dependability and user-friendliness of metal strings, I have always been partial to the warmth and projecting capabilities of gut strings with which I began my career,” Karr explains. “After having tried numerous manufactured metal strings over a period of 50 years, I found that the D’Addario Helicore strings came closest to my ideal. I love the way they sound and handle.”
“We are proud and honored to formally welcome Gary Karr on as a string endorser,” expresses Lyris Hung, D’Addario Orchestral Product Manager. “Mr. Karr has defined solo bass playing for innumerable musicians over the last five decades and only continues to educate and inspire those around him.”
Since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, Karr has performed as soloist on six continents with orchestras, and in recitals with pianist-organist-harpsichordist Harmon Lewis. He has recorded with the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (Australia), and the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra (Poland). The numerous recordings Karr released in Japan have been chart-toppers. On Italian cable, three Karr double bass recitals reached 20 million classical music lovers. British television featured two video films of Karr, one an illumination of his life and music (“Amazing Bass”) on BBC and one a series for children. CBS Sunday Morning celebrated Gary Karr’s career, and the University of Wisconsin has released a video demonstrating his instructional approach to the double bass (BASSically Karr) in addition to a special video concert for children (Karrtunes).
One of Karr’s proudest achievements is the Bronze Medal he received from the Rosa Ponselle Foundation, which recognizes him as an outstanding lyrical musician. He also has been awarded the Artist-Teacher Award from the American String Teacher’s Association and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Society of Bassists. In June of 2005, Gary Karr was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of Victoria. Although Karr retired in 2001 after a 40-year performing career, he still holds a month-long summer course for bassists (KarrKamp) every July in Victoria and appears annually in the Victoria Summer Music festival.
Karr’s dedication to his craft mirrors that of D’Addario, as he continues to inspire performance across the globe.