On this weekend’s edition of Bay Area Mix, Sunday night, the winner of the 2016 Irving M. Klein International String Competition plays a concerto by Giovanni Bottesini with the Peninsula Symphony. William Langlie-Miletich was the first ever double bass player to win, and along with the prize money, has played a series of concert performances, including last May’s that we’ll hear, and an upcoming appearance with the Santa Cruz Symphony on the 24th of this month.
The young bassist is a student at the Curtis Institute of Music, where one of his teachers is Edgar Meyer. He was accepted to the school at age 16, and has soloed with the Seattle Symphony, played at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and appeared on the NPR show From the Top. In 2016, Mitchell Sardou Klein said “In the 31 years of the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, a competition dedicated to my dad’s memory that we’ve been running… we’ve never had a bass player get a top prize. And this year, we had a young bass player studying at Curtiss named William Langlie-Miletich, who just knocked everybody out.” He played solo Bach, some Brahms, and the Bottesini in the competition, and became not only the first bass winner, he was the first of the handful of bass playing finalists to do better than fourth place. He’s also interested in jazz playing, and composition. “To watch somebody play major works on the bass and have the athletic ability to manage that thing in a way that’s completely artistic and seamless,” says Klein, “It’s a visual thing to see a bass player navigate all of the ups and downs of that, but he’s also a superb, very engaging musical artist.”