Joseph Conyers, double bass

Joseph H. Conyers was appointed principal bassist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2023. He had served as acting associate principal bass with the orchestra since 2017 and had served as assistant principal bassist since 2010, following tenures with the Atlanta Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, and Grand Rapids Symphony, where he was principal bass.

Described by the Grand Rapids Press as “a lyrical musician who plays with authenticity that transcends mere technique,” Mr. Conyers has performed with many orchestras as soloist, including the Alabama Symphony, the Flagstaff Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Sphinx Symphony, having won second prize at the 2004 Sphinx Competition in Detroit. In 2008 John B Hedges wrote a concerto for him, Prayers of Rain and Wind, commissioned by the Grand Rapids Symphony.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Conyers is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Other chamber music festivals and collaborations have included the Ilumina Festival (Brazil), the Savannah Music Festival (GA), the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival (VA), the Kingston Chamber Music Festival (RI), the Lexington Chamber Music Festival (KY), and the Festival Internacional de Música de Esmeraldas (Ecuador) with such artists as James Ehnes, Daniel Hope, and members of the Emerson String Quartet.

Mr. Conyers received his bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with both Harold Robinson, principal bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and double bass soloist Edgar Meyer. Other mentors have included David Warshauer, principal bass of the former Savannah Symphony; Daniel Swaim; and Albert Laszlo.

Committed to education and community engagement through music, Mr. Conyers served as adjunct faculty at Calvin College (MI) and Clark Atlanta University; he is currently on the faculty of Temple University in Philadelphia. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 2019 Sphinx Organization Medal of Excellence, an honor accompanied by a substantial career grant and ceremonies at the Kennedy Center and the Supreme Court of the United States.