This Saturday’s concert at Perth Concert Hall, Power and Passion, will mark long-time West Australian Symphony Orchestra double bassist Andrew Tait’s final performance with the orchestra, bringing an end to a 32 year long tenure.

Andrew Tait

Double bassist Andrew Tait. Photo © Linda Dunjey.

Tait attained his permanent seat in the orchestra’s bass section in 1989 after graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1985. He was a student of former London Symphony Orchestra Principal Bass John Gray. Over the last three decades, Tait has also played with State Orchestra of Victoria (now Orchestra Victoria), and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra in Norway.

Over his career, a passion for woodworking developed into a passion for luthiery. In 2006, Tait was awarded the Churchill Scholarship and studied double bass making and restoration in London and Rome. Now an established instrument maker, his instruments are now played in multiple orchestras across Australia and New Zealand. Most notable are the six double basses, cello and violin handcrafted by Tait specially for WASO.

Tait’s WASO tenure also marks an impressive milestone for the orchestra, which features the longest continually serving tutti bass section in Australia, playing together within the group for 30 years as of 2021. The anniversary will be commemorated with an invite-only performance in October featuring a commission by Australian composer Rebecca Erin Smith.

Tait’s final performance with the full orchestra on Saturday features music by Wagner, Shostakovich and Chausson, with violin soloist Grace Clifford and Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser Asher Fisch on the podium.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Andrew for his contribution to WASO and congratulate him on an exceptional career,” said WASO in a statement about Tait’s retirement.

Information and tickets for WASO’s Power and Passion concert on 11 September can be found here.

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