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Scott Pingel

  • Double Bass
Scott Pingel headshot


Office 504

Courses Taught

Applied Lessons

Double Bass Class


MM, Manhattan School of Music

BM, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire


San Francisco Symphony, Principal, 2004–Present

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Awards and Distinctions

Principal, San Francisco Symphony

Principal, Charleston Symphony Orchestra

Notable Studio Wins

International Society of Bassists Competition: Grand Prize, Classical Solo Division

Distinguished Alumni

Marco Behtash: Associate Principal Bass Royal Opera Covent Garden; Professor of Bass, Guildhall School of Music

Alana Jones: Section Bass, New Zealand Symphony

Christian Hales: Principal Bass, Charleston Symphony Orchestra; Aspen Fellow

Tian Yang Liu: Assistant Principal Bass, Houston Ballet; Professor of Bass, Beijing Central Conservatory

Michael Minor: Bassist, Philharmonia Baroque

Stewart Rosen: Bassist, Latin Grammy-Winning Tinto Tango

The string contributions [were] dominated by bassist Scott Pingel… He played with absolute lack of pretense and an outlandish sense of glee that left Mozart's charming, much-loved trifle purring with delight. The audience must have gone crazy." 

— Strings Magazine


What is your hometown?

Madison, WI

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Psychology, philosophy, kinesiology, visual arts, and martial arts.

Who were your major teachers?

James Clute, Peter Lloyd, and Timothy Cobb.

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

“Is it Beautiful?”

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

When I got my first double bass at age 17.

What was a turning point in your career?

When I realized that technique is not magic.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

Studying art.

What is your daily practice routine?

Scales and technical exercises, then repertoire I'm performing, then other works of interest—always with my notebook handy.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Bach. And choosing the others is like picking which family member I could live without for the rest of my life.

From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?

1685, Eisenach.

What recordings can we hear you on?

Mason Bates: Works for Orchestra, SFS Media

Gubaidulina: The Complete Works for Guitar, Naxos

Schubert: Quintet in A Major, "Die Forelle", Music@Menlo Live

Beethoven: Septet in E-flat Major, Music@Menlo Live

Mozart: Serenade in D Major, Serenata notturna, Music@Menlo Live

Other Media