Prominently established as a unique and masterful instrumentalist, EDGAR MEYER delights his audiences both as a vibrant performer and as an innovative composer. Hailed by The New Yorker as "the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument," Meyer's unparalleled technique and musicianship, in combination with his gift for composition, have brought him to the fore, where he is appreciated by a vast and varied audience. His uniqueness in the field was recognized by a MacArthur Award in 2002.
Meyer's most recent album is a self-titled solo recording released in April 2006, on which he wrote and played all of the pieces on instruments including piano, guitar, mandolin, dobro, banjo, gamba, and double bass. As a solo classical bassist, Meyer has released a concerto album with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra featuring Bottesini's Gran Duo (with violinist Joshua Bell); Meyer's Double Concerto for Bass and Cello (with Yo-Yo Ma); Bottesini's Bass Concerto No. 2; and Meyer's Concerto in D for Bass. Just prior to that, he released an album with three of Bach's Unaccompanied Suites for Cello.
As a composer, Meyer has carved out a remarkable and unique niche in the musical world. In the 2006/07 season, he premiered a triple concerto for double bass, banjo, and tabla (written with Béla Fleck and Zakir Hussain) for the opening of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, as well as a piece for double bass and piano that he performed with Emanuel Ax. During the 2005/06 season, he premiered the revised version of his Double Bass Concerto No. 2 with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and was commissioned to write a piece for violin and piano that was performed by Joshua Bell at the Montalvo Arts Center and at New York's Lincoln Center. Meyer premiered his Double Bass Concerto No. 1 in 1993 with Edo de Waart and the Minnesota Orchestra. In 1995, he premiered his Quintet for Bass and String Quartet in collaboration with the Emerson String Quartet, which was later recorded on the Deutsche Grammophon label, and his Double Concerto for Bass and Cello, in collaboration with Carter Brey (cello) and Jeffrey Kahane conducting the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival Orchestra. Meyer has also performed with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, featuring the premiere of one of his own works, the Double Concerto for Bass and Cello, with Yo-Yo Ma. In October 1999, Meyer's Violin Concerto, written for Hilary Hahn, was premiered and recorded by Hahn with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, led by Hugh Wolff.
Fruitful collaborations are also an important part of Meyer's work. His inventive performing and recording projects, including a duo with Béla Fleck, a quartet with Joshua Bell, Sam Bush, and Mike Marshall, a trio with Béla Fleck and Mike Marshall, and a trio with Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O'Connor, have been widely acclaimed. Meyer also works with pianist Amy Dorfman, his longtime accompanist for solo recitals, featuring both classical repertoire and his own compositions. Meyer's vast musical interests have also led him to be a widely sought-after guest bass player for an assortment of recording artists, such as Garth Brooks, Bruce Cockburn, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Hank Williams, Jr., Emmylou Harris, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, T-Bone Burnett, Reba McIntyre, the Indigo Girls, Travis Tritt, and the Chieftains.
He is an exclusive Sony artist who is ever-involved in imaginative projects. Meyer and colleagues Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O'Connor have been widely acclaimed for the Sony release of Appalachia Waltz, which soared to the top of the charts and remained there for 16 weeks. Appalachia Waltz toured extensively in the U.S., and the trio was featured both on The David Letterman Show and the televised 1997 Inaugural Gala. Joining with Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O'Connor for a second time, Appalachian Journey, the follow-up to Appalachia Waltz, was released in March 2000. This time, their tour took them not only to major venues across the U.S. but also to Europe and parts of Asia. Appalachian Journey won a Grammy that season.
Meyer began studying bass at the age of five under the instruction of his father, and continued further to study with Stuart Sankey. He is the winner of numerous competitions. In 1994, he became the only bassist to receive the Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2000 he became the only bassist to receive the Avery Fisher Prize.
A frequent guest at music festivals, Meyer has appeared as a performer and composer at Aspen, Tanglewood, Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, and Marlboro. At the Sante Fe Chamber Music Festival, he was a regular guest from 1985-1993 and composed six works for the festival during that time. In 1994, Meyer joined the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and continues to perform regularly with this ensemble. Currently, he is also Visiting Professor of Double Bass at the Royal Academy of Music and at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.