Bret Simner
 | Independent Artist


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Products Used

  • Kaplan Bass String Set, 3/4 Scale, Medium Tension
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  • Kaplan Bass String Set, 3/4 Scale, Heavy Tension
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Like many bass players in Europe, my professional life involves playing many genres of music on modern and period instruments. Kaplan strings possess a warm, clear tone. They have the responsiveness of gut strings and the volume of tone associated with steel. The result of this mixing of worlds are sweet-sounding strings, full of colors, and suited to various musical situations.

A D’Addario Orchestral player since 1995.

Born in Queens, New York, Bret Simner received his Bachelor and Master degrees from the Juilliard School, his Doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Fortbildingsstudium at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel, Switzerland). His additional study includes Bennington College, the Eastman School of Music, Aspen Music Festival, Round Top Music Festival, Internationale Händel-Akademie Karlsruhe, Jeune Orchestre Atlantique, l'Académie Baroque Européenne d'Ambronay, and l'Académie Mozart Européenne. Bret’s principal teachers have been Eugene Levinson (Principal Bassist, New York Philharmonic), Joseph Carver (L'Orchestre des Champs-Élysées), David Sinclair (L'Ensemble Baroque de Limoges), François Rabbath, James VanDemark and Jeffrey Levine. In addition, he has appeared as a guest lecture and soloist on the Viennese bass and historic performance practice at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, Yale University, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco Conservatory, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Williams College, University of Hartford, the Musik Akademie der Stadt Basel, Conservatorio della Svizzera Italia, BASS2010 in Berlin, BASS 2014 in Amsterdam, Butler University, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and the International Society of Bassist Conventions in 2007 and 2009. In October 2009, Bret played a recital at the Musikinstrumenten-Museum Berlin where he performed on the Museum’s 1720 Stadlmann Viennese bass, being the second person in the history of the museum invited to do so. Bret’s additional ensemble work includes concerts in the U.S. and throughout Europe on modern and historic instruments with Kammerorchester Basel, Cantus Firmus Barockorchester, Basler Madrigalisten, Ensemble Turicum, the Opéra Théâtre de Besançon, La Chambre Philharmonique, Ensemble Baroque du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Basel Festival Orchestra, Camerata Schweiz, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. As a teacher, Bret has served on the faculty of the Juilliard School, the Rivertowns Arts Council, Bronxville Schools, the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival, and the New York Summer Music Festival. His additional academic pursuits include a 2001 collaboration with Eugene Levinson in the publication of The School of Agility, as well as the preperation of an urtext edition of Wenzel Pichl’s Concerto no.1 with Editions Violone released in spring 2011. Bret lives in Basel, Switzerland with his wife Emily Yaffe and son Zachary.

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