NAC is extending performance and event cancellations and postponements until August 31

Canadian Orchestral Double Bass Seminar and Competition

Artist Trainng

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Music Classical music Masterclass Lecture

This one-time free event is designed for classically-trained double bassists between the ages of 18 and 32 aspiring to an orchestral career.

Get the inside scoop on double bass auditioning and performance in the following three major Canadian Orchestras:

  • The National Arts Centre Orchestra
  • The Toronto Symphony Orchestra
  • L'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

Every part of this event, with the exception of the closed preliminary round of the audition competition, is free and open to the public.

Double bass audition competition - June 14, 2020
The audition competition, open to musicians aged 18 to 32, requires participants to apply. Please contact Kelly Symons at or 613-947-7000 ext 302 to apply. Scroll to the bottom of this event description to find a PDF copy of competition requirements. The deadline for applications is April 30, 2020.



  • 9:00 - 10:30: Ali Yazdanfar, OSM Principal bass - Masterclass
  • 10:45 - 12:15: Michael Chiarello, TSO Associate Principal Bass - Masterclass
  • 13:30 - 15:00: Richard Hoenich, conductor - Creating the "Zen" Moment Through Excerpt Preparation
  • 15:15 - 16:00: Richard Hoenich, conductor - The "X" Factor in a Double Bass Audition
  • 16:15 - 17:30: Rachel Mercer, NAC Orchestra Principal Cello - Bach Cello Suites on Double Bass
  • 19:30 - 20:30: PERFORMANCE: Double bassists Joel Quarrington, Ali Yazdanfar and Michael Chiarello, accompanied by Jean Desmarais, piano

SUNDAY JUNE 14, 2020

  • 9:00 - 12:30: Double Bass Audition Competition - preliminaries
  • 9:00 - 10:30: Alexander Shelley, NAC Music Director - Beethoven's Ninth
  • 10:45 - 12:15: Joel Quarrington, NAC Orchestra Principal Bass - Masterclass
  • 14:00 - 17:00: Double Bass Audition Competition - semi-finals and finals

The winner of the Audition Competition (must be Canadian) will be offered a paid week with each of the NAC Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra during the 2020-2021 season.

This weekend is made possible thanks to generous support from the Leacross Foundation, Friends of the NAC Orchestra, a Donor-Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Ottawa and the donors and sponsors of the NAC’s National Youth and Education Trust, the primary resource for youth and education funding at the National Arts Centre.