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 Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Sun Valley Music Festival, the Knights Orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Oregon Bach Festival. Equally comfortable as an orchestral musician, soloist, and chamber musician, DeCesare regularly performs with Chatter ABQ, Third Angle New Music, 45th Parallel, Chamber Music by Candlelight, and Classical Up Close.
Alongside her busy performing schedule, DeCesare is passionate about teaching and mentorship and in 2022, she joined the faculty at Peabody Conservatory. DeCesare has also been on the faculty of Domaine Forget Academy, the National Orchestral Institute, and NYO Canada. She has presented masterclasses at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Pittsburgh Bass Symposium, Michigan State University, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, James Madison University, and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She has been featured as a recitalist and faculty member at the SF Bass Bash, Golden Gate Bass Camp, KC Bass Workshop, the Twin Cities Bass Camp, and the Rabbath Institute of 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 is passionate about increasing gender diversity in the bass community and professional sphere, and she founded a professional development book club and mentorship program for bassists who identify as a marginalized gender in 2021.
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.