The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) has announced that principal bass of the San Francisco Symphony, Scott Pingel, will be appointed associate professor of music in the Department of Strings beginning fall 2015, pending U-M Regental approval.
Scott Pingel began playing the double-bass at age 17 as the result of a strong interest in jazz, Latin, and classical music. In 2004, at age 29, he became the principal bass of the San Francisco Symphony and was named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the most prominent additions to the ensemble. Previously, he served as principal bass of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, performed with the Metropolitan Opera, the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, and served as guest principal with the National Arts Center Orchestra in Canada. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with such luminaries as Yo-Yo Ma, Julia Fischer, Gilbert Kalish, Wu Han, Joseph Silverstein, Yefim Bronfman, and members of the esteemed Emerson, Miro, Pacifica, St. Lawrence, Danish, and Takacs Quartets.
Pingel can often be heard at the Music at Menlo and Music in the Vineyards festivals and on television and radio programs including NPR's "Performance Today". Formerly active as a jazz musician and electric bassist, he worked with greats including Michael Brecker, Geoff Keezer, and James Williams, and performed in venues from Birdland in New York to Fasching in Stockholm.
Pingel has taught master classes at prestigious institutions such as the Curtis Institute of Music, The Julliard School, The Colburn School, Manhattan School of Music, Shanghai Conservatory, Beijing Central Conservatory, and the New World Symphony. Currently, he is a faculty member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Academy Orchestra program.
Pingel's primary instructors were James Clute, Peter Lloyd, and Timothy Cobb. He earned a BM degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a MM degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and spent two years as a fellow at the New World Symphony.
Outside of music, Pingel spent many years studying the ancient Korean martial art of Hwa Rang Do, in which he holds a black-belt. He was an instructor at the Madison Academy of Hwa Rang Do and founded the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Hwa Rang Do/Tae Soo Do Program, which continues to this day. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Iris, and their daughters, Hannah and Sophia.
Pingel joins a renowned string faculty at SMTD, chaired by Andrew W. Jennings, a founding member of the Concord String Quartet.