Musician Spotlight: Aaron Blick, Bass

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Aaron Blick began his musical studies on the piano at age 5. By age 11, Aaron's musical interests had shifted to the double bass, and he began formal study at age 14 in both classical and jazz. Aaron then earned his Bachelor of Music in 2018 from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music studying with Andrew Raciti, Associate Principal Bass of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Consequently, he returned to his hometown of Los Angeles to study with Los Angeles Philharmonic bassist David Allen Moore at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, earning his Master’s Degree in Music Performance in 2020. He continued his studies with Mr. Moore at USC as part of the Graduate Certificate program until Spring of 2022.

1. Tell us your story about how you came to play with the San Diego Symphony?

I’m currently in my second season with the San Diego Symphony. Auditioning for any professional orchestra is always a highly competitive process and this is especially true for our orchestra. I auditioned in February of 2022, just one of dozens of other bassists who traveled to San Diego hoping for the opportunity to join this bass section. Growing up just a couple hours up the 5 freeway in LA, I especially wanted to win this position at the San Diego Symphony since it would also mean staying close to home and getting to continue life in California. I spent about 7 weeks preparing the music to play my best on the audition days. This process included anywhere from 4-6 hours of practicing every day, as well as playing for my teacher at USC and also doing as many practice auditions for friends and other musicians as I possibly could. All of this work was intended to hopefully show the audition panel (who are now my colleagues!) how I play and who I am as a musician. All that hard work ended up paying off and after three challenging rounds, the panel voted to hire my colleague Kevin and me to be the newest members of the bass section! I still think back on the whole audition process and how well it went for me. I am so thankful to have been hired for this job.                       

2. What was your favorite memory from the Carnegie Hall performance last month?

Everything surrounding our Carnegie Hall performance was phenomenal! Getting to take a trip to NYC, getting to perform in one of the most legendary concert halls in the world for the first time, having a very excited and appreciative audience there to hear us - it was surreal to say the least. Since I joined the San Diego Symphony, we’ve been primarily performing outside at The Rady Shell (which is an amazing venue in its own right) while renovations are being completed at Jacobs Music Center. So it was extra special for me to experience getting to hear how we sound as an orchestra in such an acoustically spectacular space. It made me even more excited to get back to our indoor home. 

3. Your favorite memory from the recent CECUT Mexico performance with the San Diego Symphony? 

Performing at CECUT was awesome! I loved that we got to share our program with the wonderful audience of Tijuana. They gave us great energy, which fueled our own energy and excitement for the performance. I thought it was very special to represent ourselves in our sister city, and the fact that we performed on the actual day of Dia de los Muertos was extra cool! 

4. What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

My family in LA gets together every year for Thanksgiving so I’ll be making the drive up there to spend the weekend. My favorite foods are my mom’s grilled salmon and my aunt’s mashed yams with melted marshmallows.   

5. What are you looking most forward to for the end of the year?

I’m looking forward to celebrating the holidays with my friends and family and having lots of great food. I’m also looking forward to playing Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker with Golden State Ballet for our San Diego audience. It’s always fun to play such exciting and festive music live! 

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