Frederick Zimmermann

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Frederick Zimmermann (May 18, 1906 - August 3, 1967) was an American double bassist and teacher. He played in the New York Philharmonic from 1930-1966 serving as assistant-principal and principal and taught at the Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, Columbia University, Manhattan School of Music, and New York University. He was an influential American double bass teacher in the 20th century. In his "A New History of the Double Bass", Paul Brun describes Zimmermann as the "father of bass teaching in the United States".[1]

Zimmermann was born on May 18, 1906 in New York City. He studied the double bass with Herman Reinshagen, principal bass of the New York Philharmonic under Gustav Mahler and Arturo Toscanini. He made numerous transcriptions of music ranging from the 14th to 20th century and edited music for International. In 1966 his book, Contemporary Concept of Bowing Technique for the Double Bass was published. In addition to music, Zimmermann studied painting with George Grosz at the Art Students' League, had three showings, and often lectured on modern German painters. Zimmermann married his wife Dorothy in 1931. They had one son Edwin. Zimmermann died of a brain tumor at age 61 on August 3, 1967, while visiting Ohlstadt, Germany.

His students have occupied posts in virtually every major American orchestra. Some of his notable students include classical bassists Joseph Gustafeste, Orin O'Brien, Donald Palma, Robert Gladstone, David Walter, Linda McKnight, Alvin Brehm. Stuart Sankey, Frank Proto, and Lucas Drew and jazz bassists Charles Mingus, Henry Grimes, Eddie Gómez, and Red Mitchell.


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