A pair of concerts through San Francisco Performances brings double bassist and composer Edgar Meyer to Herbst Theatre twice this Sunday. First will be a family concert at 11 am, where he’ll be playing alone, and that evening will join the Dover String Quartet on a program that includes his String Quintet. (At the family concert, adults and kids are welcome to wear costumes.)

There’s more information about the concerts at the San Francisco Performances website.

The feeling of the family concert will be relaxed and informal – and as Meyer points out, there’s not a whole lot of repertoire for unaccompanied bass, although he plays the cello suites on the instrument (see below), and as both a composer and improviser, can play a lot of his own works. He’s touring with the Dover Quartet, playing on a Rossini duo for cello and bass, and his own work from the mid 1990s. “It’s a lot of fun for me, cause I haven’t done anything with it for 15 years or something. And the Dovers are a marvelous bunch of instrumentalists. It’s just a joy to work on the piece with them, and see where we can take it.”  The piece has his characteristic mix of melodies and rhythms that have their roots in bluegrass and improvisation, which used to need a bit of explanation, but less so now. “15 years later, the younger people are comfortable with some of the rhythms and some of the means of expression that, they’re just more common now. Back then, classical players playing things with less lyrical expression and with more rhythmic emphasis was less common.”