On the Couch with Phoebe Russell

Phoebe-Russell-courtesy-of-Queensland-Symphony-Orchestra Who is Phoebe Russell?
I am the principal double bass of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra as well as a double bass teacher at the University of Queensland and the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. I have a huge passion for bringing the double bass into the spotlight by performing as a soloist any time I have the opportunity, and I also enjoy performing regularly as a chamber musician.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else. As long as I have music in my life, I’m fulfilled and happy.

Who inspires you and why?
I am lucky to have worked closely with many of my biggest inspirations. Of course my teacher and mentor Damien Eckersley has been a long term inspiration to me, my husband Bernardo Alviz (an amazing bass player and composer himself) and my mentors in Berlin – legendary double bassists Janusz Widzyk, Janne Saksala, Edicson Ruiz and Klaus Stoll. The list goes on!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I believe that one of my biggest callings is to support and encourage the next generation of young Australian bass players and share with them the knowledge I have had the privilege of acquiring through my studies at home and abroad, just as my teacher in Melbourne did for me.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Rome, Italy or our very own Great Barrier Reef!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
QPAC to see some of the amazing cultural highlights Brisbane has to offer!

What are you currently reading?
A bit nerdy but I’m currently reading a book about the double bass!

What are you currently listening to?
Karajan’s 1963 recordings of Beethoven Symphonies with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Happiness is?
Cuddling my dog, Robin.

What does the future hold for you?
Heading back onto the stage and sharing music with a real life audience once again. It will be a highly emotional experience, I’m sure.


Phoebe is the principal double bass of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra – who return to the QPAC Concert Hall stage with Beethoven 5 (16 and 17 October) featuring Richard Strauss’ Don Juan and Beethoven’s Symphony No.5; and Beethoven’s Emperor (21 November) showcasing the composer’s mighty Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat (Emperor) and Respighi’s Pine of Rome. For more information, visit: www.qso.com.au for details.

Image: Phoebe Russell – courtesy of Queensland Symphony Orchestra

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