Kirsty McCahon was Principal Double Bass of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for 20 years and is now – alongside her many chamber music engagements – Principal Bass of Pinchgut Opera’s Orchestra of The Antipodes. She has performed with the Australian World Orchestra since 2011 and featured as a soloist in the AWO’s 2016 premiere of Elena Kats-Chernin’s Concerto for Eight Double Basses, The Witching Hour. Phoebe Russell is Principal Double Bass of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, has led bass sections around the country as guest principal, and has performed with the AWO since 2019. Both players have performed with orchestras and ensembles across Australia and internationally. Ahead of sharing a desk in the upcoming AWO season, they spoke to Limelightabout the pleasures and challenges to be found at the deep end of the string section.

Kirsty McCahon Kirsty McCahon. Photo courtesy of the Australian World Orchestra

What drew you to the double bass at first?

PR:At my junior school I was fortunate enough to have a grade two string program where we were each given the opportunity to...