Brazilian-American Marcos Machado maintains an active performing and teaching schedule, touring the USA, Europe, and South America. As Professor of double bass at The University of Southern Mississippi, he has organized ten editions of the “Southern Miss Bass Symposium.” In Brazil, he is the founder and pedagogic director of the Pampa International Music Festival (FIMP Bagé), now in its tenth edition.
Machado is the only South American to have earned both the “Teaching” and “Performance” diplomas from the L’Institut International de Contrebasse de Paris where he has studied with renowned double bassist François Rabbath. Marcos started double bass studies with Uruguayan professor Milton Romay Masciadri (1931-2009), former principal bass of OSPA (Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestra). Marcos holds a Master’s degree from the University of Georgia (Dr. Milton Walter Masciadri). and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Professor Michael Cameron).
Along with the Austin-based Conspirare Ensemble, Marcos has toured and recorded the CD “Threshold of Night.” This recording has received two Grammy® nominations. Marcos also participated in the live recording of a PBS Special “A Company of Voices: Conspirare in Concert.” Released as both a CD and DVD, “A Company of Voices” was nominated for the Grammy® Best Classical Crossover Album.
Machado recorded two solo CDs with the recording label “Blue Griffin.” “…the left-hand technique is incredibly fluid, with precise, faultless articulation… Machado’s performance is a revelation… this is a clear, satisfying and immensely rewarding recording.” (The Strad). “Metamorfora” was released in 2015 and “Fantasy” in 2018. Both CDs with Brazilian pianist Ney Fialkow, piano professor at UFRGS.
In addition to the solo CDs and work with Conspirare, Machado’s double bass performances have also been featured on other CDs. These include “Bassoon Fireworks: Late Twentieth-Century Virtuoso Works”; “Rudolf Haken: Concerto for Five-String Viola, Clarinet Concerto, Oboe Concerto,” and CDs with Sinfonia da Camera ensemble, the ARCO Chamber Orchestra, and São Pedro Chamber Orchestra.
Machado’s versatility on the double bass and captivating stage presence has inspired many composers to write works for the double bass dedicated to him. Recently, he gave the world premiere performance of American composer P. Kellach Waddle’s “The Dark and The Silent” for solo bass, Brazilian composers B. Cunha’s “Momento Nordestino n°2” and Arthur Barbosa’s “Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra” all written for Machado, and the world premiere of American composer Frank Proto’s Partita for Solo Double Bass at the International Society of Bassists Convention in San Francisco, CA, and the South American premieres of Frank Proto’s Concertos: A Carmen Fantasy and Nine Variants on Paganini for double bass and orchestra. In 2017 Machado was a guest soloist with the University of New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, where he performed “Wolf Totem” by Tan Dun. In January 2018, Machado performed the South American premiere of this work.
During a sabbatical semester, Machado accepted an invitation to serve as artist-in-residence at the National Conservatory of Music in Lima, Peru while writing his double bass method book “Tao of Bass.” This method is a multi-volume work covering all facets of double bass technique. The first volume, released in 2016, was sold in Europe, Asia, and South America, as well as the U.S., and sold out in its first printing. A few universities have already adopted it as the required double bass technique book. Volume II of the four-volume series will be released in 2020. These four books incorporate Machado’s two decades of research on double bass technique.
Last May, Machado and the British producer “Discover Double Bass” recorded an online vídeo course. The course is a comprehensive study of left-hand technique with numerous demonstrations using orchestral and solo repertoire. The vídeo will be available at the end of 2019 at discoverdoublebass.com. Marcos Machado performs on a David Tecchler double bass, c. 1700.