A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Brett Shurtliffe

Instructor of Double Bass

  • Music

Double bassist Brett Shurtliffe received his Bachelor in Music from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with James VanDemark and his Master in Music from Duquesne University, where he studied with Jeffrey Turner.  During his time at Eastman he was awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate.  In 2003 he was the Top American Prizewinner at the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition, and two years later took 1st Prize at the ISB Orchestral Competition.  Other honors include 1st Prize PADEASTA Solo Competition, and Top Honors for Double Bass at the National ASTA Solo Competition.  Since being appointed the Associate Principal Double Bass with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007, Brett has appeared numerous times as a soloist with the BPO, as well as with the Amherst Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, and in 2001 was co-creator and soloist in Heresy; a new music concert conducted by Rochester Philharmonic’s Jeff Tyzik. 

Brett’s playing has been described as “immaculate” in a 2012 Bass world review, and “Not even Johann Sebastian shredded as hard as this guy” were the accolades from an imaginative recital at a downtown Buffalo night club in 2012.  His recital engagements have taken him across the east coast of the U.S. and Canada, and as an orchestral musician he also performed with the Wheeling, Erie, Detroit and Pittsburgh Symphonies.  Apart from performing, he has commissioned new works for the double bass, as well as creating numerous transcriptions of his own including Monte’s Czardas, Kabalevsky’s 1st Cello Concerto, and Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen.  Along with his current private studio, he serves as Adjunct Professor of Double Bass at Canisius and Houghton Colleges and is on faculty at the International Festival Institute in Round Top Texas.  He currently resides in Boston NY with his wife Andrea and their two daughters Madelyn and Ashlyn.