Del Mar resident and retired UCSD music professor Bert Turetzky’s long career in classical music and jazz have made him one of the most recorded double bassists in America. More than 300 composers have written works for him to debut, record, and perform.
Turetzky literally wrote the book on contrabass virtuosity. His 1974 treatise on extended bass technique, The Contemporary Contrabass, remains the definitive compendium on the subject. He came to San Diego in 1968, after teaching and gigging in his home state of Connecticut since the 1950s. He has mentored a who’s who of local bassists, including Bob Magnusson, Mark Dresser, Kristin Korb, and Eric Clapton sideman Nathan East.
Through 2011, Turetzky and Dizzy’s owner Chuck Perrin continued their joint efforts to bring intimate chamber music to the downtown area in periodic doses, like the Music Forgotten & Remembered series. Part of the beauty and appeal of these concerts is the sonic joy of hearing Turetzky and the other members of his California Consort play this music sans amplification. It is a reminder that musicians were able to present their art for centuries without benefit of microphones, amplifiers and mixers, which in our times, often do more harm than good.
His chamber ensemble usually features his wife Nancy Turetzky on flutes, Alyze Dreiling Hammer on violin, Francesca Savage on viola, and Lorie Kirkell on cello. Turetzky has always loved chamber ensembles, because they play “What they love to play, as opposed to orchestra work, where somebody else tells you what to play.”