Nina DeCesare joined the bass section of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in September 2020 after five years in the Oregon Symphony bass section. She has also performed with the Seattle Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Knights Orchestra, and the Oregon Bach Festival.
Equally comfortable as an orchestral musician, soloist, and chamber musician, DeCesare regularly performs with Third Angle New Music, 45th Parallel, and Classical Up Close. DeCesare is passionate about teaching and mentorship and has presented masterclasses at the Peabody Institute, the Pittsburgh Bass Symposium, and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. In the summer, she has appeared as faculty at KC Bass Workshop, the Twin Cities Bass Camp, and the Rabbath Institute Los Angeles.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, DeCesare embarked on several “pandemic projects” including an ambitious #36daysofBach venture inspired by Alisa Weilerstein, recording all of the movements of the six Bach cello suites consecutively over six weeks. In the summer of 2020, DeCesare co-founded the Double Bass Lab with members of the LA Philharmonic and the San Diego Symphony, teaching weekly classes for students unable to take lessons in person due to the pandemic.
DeCesare began playing the bass while studying with renowned pedagogue George Vance. As a young bassist, she also worked closely with François Rabbath, Ali Yazdanfar, Ira Gold, and Hal Robinson. While still in high school, DeCesare won first place in both the Under 14 and 15-18 age divisions of the International Society of Bassists’ solo competition. In 2011, DeCesare made her solo debut with the Chesapeake Orchestra in Southern Maryland, performing the Vanhal Concerto.
DeCesare completed her Bachelor of Music degree at Rice University (‘14), studying with Paul Ellison. During her time at Rice, she spent her summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, Sarasota Music Festival, Moritzburg Festival Academy, Wabass Institute and Domaine Forget International Academy. In 2012, DeCesare was awarded Rice University’s Wagoner Fellowship to spend the summer in Paris, where she studied intensively with François Rabbath. DeCesare also represented the Shepherd School as a part of the Conservatory Project, which culminated in a solo performance at the Kennedy Center.
When she is not performing, practicing, or teaching, DeCesare can be found hiking, cooking, or playing with her two dogs, Misty and Merlin.