Kevin Rundell

Key details:

Strings, Harp & Guitar
Double Bass Tutor


Kevin Rundell began his studies with his grandfather, Jack Silvester, and continued with Adrian Beers at the Royal College of Music where he won all prizes for the double bass. After a year touring with the Scottish Baroque Ensemble he joined the orchestra of the Royal Opera House at the age of nineteen and embarked on an intensive course of study with the famous virtuoso Thomas Martin. Kevin’s musical ancestry goes back to his great grandfather who was a bassist and founder member of the London Symphony Orchestra, and to his grandfather who was the first principal bass in Sir Thomas Beecham’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Kevin was appointed professor at the Guildhall School in 1975 at the age of twenty two, one of the youngest appointments ever made. The same year he also became professor of double bass at Trinity College of Music, London, a position he held until 1990. As a teacher he has been spectacularly successful and has had pupils in all orchestras in the United Kingdom and many overseas ensembles. During his four years playing at the Royal Opera he played for the world’s leading conductors such as Karl Bohm, Rudolf Kempe and Carlos Kleiber accompanying the greatest singers of the age, such as Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Birgit Nilsson and even the great Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.

Kevin’s first principal position was with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Paavo Berglund in 1976. In 1978 he gained the title of ‘outstanding British bassist’ in the first international Isle of Mann double bass competition. In 1980 he joined English National Opera as principal, where he remained for ten years. During this time he was also active as a freelance player playing on many film tracks including ‘Batman’ and several James Bond scores. He was also a leading performer of contemporary music playing with the chamber group ‘Lontano’ and giving countless first performances both in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Kevin was invited to join the London Symphony Orchestra as principal double bass in 1990 and the London Philharmonic in 1991, which is his present position. With this orchestra he has performed with the world’s leading maestri and soloists including Sir Georg Solti and Klaus Tennstedt. He is the solo bass on Anne-Sophie Mutter’s recording of the complete Mozart violin concertos and he also played principal bass for the music of the film ‘Lord of the Rings’, the largest film score ever recorded.

Throughout his very busy orchestral  career Kevin has always found time to teach and has given classes at conservatoires in the United Kingdom and New York as well as coaching the National Youth Orchestra of England. He has been a professor at Guildhall School of Music & Drama since 1975.