The prodigiously talented 14-year-old double bassist William McGregor was presented over the weekend by Juilliard’s Pre-College Division in Paul Hall. He has the sunny disposition and blond locks of a Californian surfer dude and the charisma of a young Jim Morrison. These characteristics are well served by his amazingly natural fluid technique and practically flawless intonation and harmonics.
His program included solo Bach, the Vanhal Concerto and Williams' Theme from Schindler’s List, which had a singing wistfulness, never tortured or pompous. He concluded with Bottesini’s Fantasy on La Somnambula that was so deft as to be tongue in cheek.
Though William sounds like a musician twenty years older, there is no affectation or portentousness. Infectious is the joy he takes in his own remarkable accomplishments.
Albert Laszlo is his teacher.
Remarkable in a scarring way was the accompanist, yours truly, Miss Colostomy Bag. Eduard Laurel’s orchestral tuttis, sight-read with flagrant shame, were eye-poppingly horrific. They brought to mind the desperate kicking of a deer just crashed through a windshield. Bless the soloist for remaining utterly unfazed.
William McGregor is a virtuoso to watch. Look out, Gary Carr.