Bassist Samuel Hager has been a member of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra since October of 2006, and during that time he has served two seasons as Acting Associate Principal Bass. A native of Waukegan, IL, Mr. Hager earned his bachelor's degree in Double Bass Performance from Indiana University as a student of Bruce Bransby. Mr. Hager continued his studies with David Moore at the University of Southern California, where he received a Graduate Certificate in 2005.

Mr. Hager has been performing with La Jolla SummerFest every year since 2011. Recent chamber performances there include collaborations with Cho-Liang Lin, The Assad Brothers and members of the Escher Quartet. In addition to SummerFest, Mr. Hager will spend part of this summer at Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo.

Before joining the SDSO, Mr. Hager played one season with the Oregon Symphony, and was a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Evansville Philharmonic and Owensboro Symphony. During his time in Los Angeles he was privileged to work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Long Beach Symphony and Riverside Philharmonic.

Mr. Hager spent six summers as a full scholarship Orchestral Fellowship student at the Aspen Music Festival where he was exposed to world class teachers, conductors and performers, as well as the great outdoors. While in Aspen, Mr. Hager spent many free days exploring the “Colorado fourteeners” and continues to hike and climb mountains here in California.

Samuel Hager plays on a Modern Italian double bass circa 1930 made by Giuseppe Tarantino.


Q: What are three of your favorite movies? 

A: Terminator 2: Judgment DayThe NaturalThe Shawshank Redemption

Q: What are your favorite travel destinations? 

A: Aspen, CO and San Francisco, CA

Q: What are some favorite composers and/or musical periods? 

A: Beethoven, Brahms

Q: What do you love most about San Diego (other than the weather)? 

A: Short hikes in Mission Trails and all day adventures in Anza-Borrego. 

Q: What is your choice for dining in San Diego? 

A: It’s always changing. Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria and Amarin Thai immediately come to mind. 

Q: The non-musical accomplishment you are most proud of is…?

A: Climbing the Maroon Bells peaks in Aspen.