Matthew Medlock, Bass
Mike and Anne Armstrong Chair
Matthew Medlock was born and raised in Indianapolis. He began playing the double bass at age 12 and made his solo debut at age 17 with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Medlock received his B.M. degree from Boston University, and his M.M. from Rice University. Medlock is a two-year Tanglewood Music Center Fellow and has also performed with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Italy Festival Orchestra, the Key West Symphony, the Iris Chamber Orchestra, and has been on faculty with the Eastern Music Festival
His primary teachers include Edwin Barker, principal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Timothy Pitts, former principal of the Houston Symphony Orchestra; Paul Ellison, Rice University professor and former principal of the Houston Symphony Orchestra; and Greg Dugan, member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Medlock is the bass instructor at Florida Gulf Coast University and Edison State College. In the summers he is principal bass with the Southern Illinois Music Festival. He has been a core member of the Naples Philharmonic since 2002.
I’m from Indianapolis, Indiana, and I attended Boston University. I was looking to move to experience a big city and study with someone who had a great track record of bassists getting orchestral jobs. Edwin Barker of the Boston Symphony fit the bill and, after I went to Boston to audition and take a lesson with him, he agreed we would work well together. The next four years of my life I spent improving my playing and artistry with one of the most well-respected bassists in the world. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I was looking to further my studies with a musician with similar sensibilities as my teacher in Boston. Tim Pitts of the Houston Symphony studied with Mr. Barker and also taught at Rice University, which is an institution with a great reputation. I joined the Naples Philharmonic in 2002.
What has been your most memorable moment with the orchestra?
Having to play the Mahler First Symphony bass solo in a kids’ show using two people because “The bass is so big it takes two people to play it.”
What inspired you to become a musician?
In high school, I had been thinking about going to college for music for a while. But what solidified it for me was a summer at Interlochen. Being surrounded 24/7 by like-minded students, all working toward the same goal of the highest musical aptitude, showed me what music is really about.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
After being here so many years, I still enjoy the people in the orchestra—not only as respected musicians, but also on a personal level. They make coming to work a pleasure.
What’s challenging about playing your instrument?
What are your favorite compositions?
Vaughan Williams’ Piano Quintet and the Nielsen’s Serenata en Vano.
What have you been listening to recently?
I’ve been listening to Bert and Ernie’s Greatest Hit — over and over and over again (I have a young child).
Are there other musicians in your immediate family?
What do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy taking care of my young son, spending time traveling and riding my old Ducati when it’s running.