You are here

Barry Lieberman and Friends Recital: Catalin Rotaru

Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 2:00pm
$15 (cash or check at the door), Notecard

Virtuoso bassist and faculty member at Arizona State University performs solo works for double bass.

F. Chopin: Valse op. 34, no. 2 in A minor

Cesar Franck:  Sonata for violin in A major

               Allegretto ben moderato


               Ben moderato

               Allegretto poco mosso

Astor Piazzolla: Le Grand Tango

G. Bottesini: Gran Duo Concertante for violin and double bass



Catalin Rotaru, double bass

Catalin Rotaru, double bass, joined the School of Music at Arizona State University, in 2005. Mr. Rotaru is in demand as a performer and clinician throughout the world. He is a licentiate of the National University of Music from Bucharest, Romania and holds a Master’s degree in music performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Previously he was Associate Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, taught at Millikin University, and at the University of Illinois. He has performed both solo classical and jazz bass throughout Europe, the United States, South America and Japan. He served as associate principal bass in the Romanian National Radio Orchestra, principal bass in the Sibiu Philharmonic Orchestra, Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra of Bucharest, Danville Symphony Orchestra, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, associate principal and principal bass in Sinfonia Da Camera, and principal bass of the Orchestra Sinfonica Europea.

Mr. Rotaru collaborates frequently with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and Arizona Opera and performs extensively as soloist in recitals or with symphony orchestras throughout the United States and abroad, giving numerous clinics and master classes. He received the second prize at the 1997 International Society of Bassists Solo Division Competition and the Jury's Special Award for the best performance of the required piece at that competition. He was the winner of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Debut Recital Award in 1997, and received the Central Illinois Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters Award in 1996. Mr. Rotaru recently completed recording his debut solo CD, entitled Bass*ic Cello Notes released by Summit Records. For the last several years, Professor Rotaru has been a frequent solo performer at the “Virtuosi” International Chamber Music Festival of Pernambuco in Brazil. Mr. Rotaru performs on a double bass made in Italy by Luciano Golia and a bow made by Marco Pasquino.


Barry Lieberman, double bass

Barry Lieberman is now in his twentieth year as double bass faculty at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. He began his career at age twenty-one as principal bass of the Winnipeg Symphony.  In 1976 Zubin Mehta appointed him Associate Principal bass of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a post he held for seventeen years.

Mr. Lieberman has been a regular performer with Chamber Music Northwest, Music from Angel Fire, the International Festival in Seattle, Bravo Colorado, Bargemusic, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Mostly Mozart, and served as Principal bass of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, Colorado. Most recently Mr. Lieberman performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, both in New York City and on tour in Europe. He has also performed with, and toured the Far East, Europe and the U.S. with the Mostly Mozart chamber orchestra.

Additionally, Mr. Lieberman has performed with many of the worlds greatest conductors, including Pierre Boulez and Sir Simon Rattle (both in orchestral and chamber music settings), Erich Leinsdorf, Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Barenboim, Georg Solti, Eugene Ormandy, Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, and Kurt Sanderling, amongst many others. He has performed chamber music with artists including Emmanuel Ax, James Galway, Lynn Harrell, Pinchas Zuckerman, Glenn Dicterow, Yefim Bronfman, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Jaime Laredo.

A former member of the New European Strings for several years, Mr. Lieberman has toured both the US and Europe with it’s leader, Dimirtri Sitkovetsky. Mr. Lieberman has also served as Principal Bass of the Seattle Symphony on many occasions.

In l994, Mr. Lieberman created the series, “Barry Lieberman and Friends”, at the University of Washington.  A series that combines the talents of members of the Seattle Symphony (most notably his wife, Maria Larionoff, former Concertmaster of the SSO), the University, guest artists, and most importantly, students from both the University as well as preparatory level.  The series has met with great success and critical acclaim. Featured artists on this series have included Gary Karr, Thomas Martin (Principal bass, London Symphony,) Hal Robinson (Principal bass, Philadelphia Orchestra,) Joel Quarrington (Principal bass, Toronto Symphony), and many other prominent double bassists from around the world. 

The 2000-2001 concert season marked Mr. Lieberman’s debut with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society in New York City.  His recording of the complete Vivaldi sonatas arranged for the double bass and piano was released in 2001, and is the first and only recording of all ten of these sonatas. They were performed on Mr. Lieberman’s 1597 Maggini double bass, one of the oldest in the world. This instrument was owned by Stuart Knussen, principal bass of the London Symphony from 1955 to1976.

In 2002 the debut of The American String Project ( took place.  The Project is a unique, conductor-less string orchestra made up of some of the country’s best concertmasters, soloists, chamber musicians, and teachers. The organization was created by Mr. Lieberman and performs primarily chamber music works arranged by him for a larger string ensemble. To date, Mr. Lieberman has arranged more than 100 string quartets and quintets for the Project.  The Project has released many recordings and has garnered some impressive reviews.

Mr. Lieberman has conducted several master classes at the Guildhall School of Music in London, England, the equivalent of the Juiliard School in America and he was featured in the world’s most important magazine for double bass, The Double Bassist (Winter, 2005.)

In the summer of 2004, Mr. Lieberman was invited to join the faculty at the Roundtop Music Festival in Roundtop, Texas, one of the country’s most respected summer music programs. 

In 2009 Mr. Lieberman was invited to join the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa Pekka Salonen as Principal Bass for a European tour of Great Britain, Scandinavia and Europe.

Mr. Lieberman is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Cleveland Institute of Music.  He and his wife Maria Larionoff, the former Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony, live with their Golden Retriever Mia and their Ibizan Hound “Crabcake” in a house remodeled and decorated by Mr. Lieberman in perfect mid-century modern style.


Series Background:Artist-in-Residence Barry Lieberman, artistic director and founder of The American String Project, presents a series of recitals and master classes by noted performers, including Seattle Symphony players, touring symphony musicians, young innovators, and rising classical music stars.