Alan Molitz began piano lessons at the age of four, continuing piano and solfege with Mlle. Yvonne Coombe at the French School of Music in Plainfield, New Jersey. At age twelve he began his studies on the double bass with Mr. Condit Atkinson, a dedicated teacher, composer and performer in jazz as well as classics. Molitz has had three major teachers, all of whom were early Curtis graduates. During his high school years he studied with Roger Scott, Principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra and two summers with Warren Benfield of the Chicago Symphony.
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music in 1968 with a Bachelor of Music and the Performers’ Certificate, Molitz was a pupil of Oscar Zimmerman, who began his career in 1929 with Leopold Stokowsky and the Philadelphia Orchestra and was later a member of the NBC Symphony under Toscanini.
In addition to private pupils from all over Canada, Alan Molitz has taught and adjudicated for the University of Ottawa, Queens University, Quebec Conservatory System, the University of Toronto and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Interest in education and outreach included demonstrations at the Metropolitan Toronto School for the Deaf.
Presently Principal Bass of the Canadian Opera Company since 1991, his previous orchestral experience includes four years with the Plainfield Symphony as a young student, three years with the Rochester Philharmonic followed by the Montreal Symphony, the McGill Chamber Orchestra and twenty-one seasons as Principal Bass of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, of which he was a founding member.
During his years in Ottawa he toured extensively, performing on many of the world’s most famous stages and appearing with many great conductors and soloists. Additionally, the Orchestra performed many operas during their summer Festival seasons.
In December 1986 Molitz spent two weeks in Rio de Janeiro playing in the second World Philharmonic Orchestra, an orchestra made up entirely of principal players from 54 countries, conducted on that occasion by Maestro Lorin Maazel. In June of 1991 he traveled to Halifax to perform in the gala concert with Pierre Boulez. The spring of 1992 included a tour to the Yukon territories with the McGill Chamber Orchestra. As Principal Bass of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, Molitz has been performing in productions ranging from standard repertoire, including Wagner’s Ring Cycle and others, to newer works, many featuring the double bass in a more soloistic capacity.
In January 1994 Molitz joined the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. He has also coached chamber music and recital programs as well as helped prepare individuals for orchestra auditions. He also performs with and acts as Mentor for the National Academy Orchestra, Brott Music Festival since 2005. This program is designed to give opportunity to young performance professionals to benefit from their own experiences and those of long-time professionals. In the past few seasons, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra has begun its own training efforts by bringing in young people by audition to play rehearsals and a performance of a Wagner Opera with the Orchestra.
Thirty years ago Molitz first performed with Maetro Helmuth Rilling, the great musician and teacher especially of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. As well, Molitz has performed fifteen seasons with the Oregon Bach Festival with Maestro Rilling. This is a pleasure and a great learning experience which will last a lifetime.
The 2015-16 season is his 46th year as a Principal Double Bassist.