Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Arthur began his musical studies at age ten. Post secondary studies took him to the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance in 1984, Arthur spent an additional year studying at the Banff School of Fine Arts, Advanced Studies, Winter Program. In 1986, Arthur won a job as Violist in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he holds to this day. 1991 saw Arthur begin a second career as a composer and arranger. In 1997, Arthur was honoured to become an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. His compositions and arrangements have been heard nation-wide on CBC radio, recorded on CD by a numbers of groups and have been performed across Canada, in the United States and in Europe. Just recently, in January 2005, the Beau Quartet released a CD on the ARKTOS label featuring string works by Arthur Bachmann and George Andrix.
Arthur’s compositions reflect his long standing association and connection to the Alberta landscapes surrounding Calgary. He uses contemporary classical idioms, and attempts to bridge the gap between composer, performer and audience, while still remaining accessible to a large cross-section of music listeners.
Who do you think are or were the masters of your instrument?
William Primrose, Lionel Tertis
Tell us a little about your instrument.
Its label reads…
Jo: Baptista Ceruti Cremonensis
fecit Cermonae An. 1869
…however, it is not a Ceruti instrument, but was made in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s in Germany by an unknown maker, antiqued, given a fake label and sold for a higher price as a genuine Ceruti. Were this an original instrument, I could retire right now. However, as it is not, its value is purely in how good it sounds and plays.
Do you play in any groups/ensembles outside of the orchestra?
I am the violist in the Zabaglionne String quartet.
What kinds of music do you listen to when you’re “off-duty?” What’s currently on your iPod?
Mostly I prefer silence, but I listen to almost anything, from heavy metal to avant guarde to movie music to Enya to classical. I can usually find some value in most music, but try as I might, I still do not enjoy rap or its ancillaries.
How do you prepare for a concert? Any “pre-game” rituals?
An early light supper, get to the hall early enough to go over anything that needs work, and try not to stress too much about the concert.
How old were you when you started playing?
I think I started playing when I was around 10.