Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Cecelia Bruggemeyer

Double Bass

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Cecelia was always set on being a flautist when she was growing up, and at age 11 she was offered a place at the Centre for Young Musicians. The offer was to learn the double bass however, but being so eager to make music, she accepted, not being slowed down by the fact she wasn’t entirely sure what a bass was at the time. She found herself studying at the Royal Academy of Music and approached the English Conductor/Violinist Roy Goodman to see if he had any good idea about how to tackle bass lines of endless quavers, and his enthusiasm led Cecelia to put herself forward for the European Union Baroque Orchestra and pursue period performance as a profession. She has done a lot of education work with the OAE over the years, and she says that had she not become a professional musician she would likely have been some kind of teacher.

At the moment Cecelia is the proud owner of three and a half basses, including a late 17th century Italian bass called Quasimodo (because of its humped back), and also a modern copy of a Viennese bass which is currently being taken apart and tinkered with in order to accommodate a fifth string as part of a set-up and tuning system that was used in Vienna during Mozart and Haydn’s time (the aforementioned half a bass).

The energy, commitment, and the range of repertoire and artists that the OAE performs with regularly is what Cecelia says she loves about us, and she has particularly fond memories of Handel’s Theodore at Glyndebourne and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Bryn Terfel, although there are now too many wonderful concert memories to count. Before a concert, she can often be found doing yogic breathing exercises and “brain gym” exercises, or going for a walk, and when she’s not rocking her bass she’s enjoying a cryptic crossword, TV crime drama, or a scenic walk in the countryside.

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