Hailing from The Land Down Under, Principal Bass player Peter Doubrovsky completed the dazzling Harvey Pittel Jazz Trio in the recent California Philharmonic’s “Symphonic Dances” concert. Peter Doubrovsky’s family heritage stretches across the globe, riding the tides of history. His father, a “White Russian”, meaning a member of the opposition to “The Reds” also known as the Bolsheviks, escaped the Russian Revolution, to live in China, eventually settling in Australia. There he met and married Peter’s mother, a German immigrant, who grew up on a farm in Toowoomba, also known as “The Garden City”, in southern Queensland.
During his childhood, Peter played the piano and started on string bass when he was 13 years old. Neither his parents nor his two sisters were musical (his father was an engineer) - but it just seemed to be Peter’s calling to become a professional musician. “I just got the bug,” he says. He studied at the Queensland Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of renowned bassist John Gray, one of the founding members of the Academy of St. Martins-in-the Fields. After receiving his diploma in music performance from the Conservatory, Mr. Doubrovsky moved to Sydney where he worked as a bass player, performing with the National Ensemble, the Elizabethan Trust Opera Sinfonietta Orchestra, and the Hunter Orchestra; he also toured Japan and Asia. It was while playing in the Newcastle Symphony that he met his wife, Helen, a bassoonist with the orchestra.
Helen obtained a green card to live in the US, so the couple moved to the Golden State to find themselves among the fortunate musicians within the coveted “golden handcuffs” of studio soundtrack playing. To date, Peter has played bass on approximately 400 film scores, starting with “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves,” making movie music history on “Titanic,” playing on all the “Star Treks” and “Spider Man” movies, and most recently playing bass on “First Man.” He has also recorded on numerous albums for celebrity artists, including Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton, Harry Connick Jr., Neil Young, Paul Anka, Barbra Streisand, and Celine Dion (just to name a few!).
Mr. Doubrovsky is also in demand as an orchestral player, having played principal bass or playing in the bass section with the Pasadena Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Santa Monica Symphony, the Oregon Bach Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Music Center Opera, and the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra.
Mr. Doubrovsky came to the California Philharmonic back in the early ‘90s and has played with the orchestra ever since, appreciating the variety of styles the Cal Phil performs. “Victor presents a wide range of palettes that everyone will enjoy, not just one part of society,” Peter says of the Maestro and his orchestra. He also notes how excited the audience becomes during sing-alongs, another very popular feature of the Cal Phil concerts. Peter has performed in many “Pops” concerts, but he says there is something quite special about the way Dr. Vener puts on shows, creating a lot of fun and even a “celebratory” feeling, especially during outdoor events. Recently, Mr. Doubrovsky was featured front and center on the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage with principal percussionist Terry Schonig, and legendary saxophonist Harvey Pittel in John Williams’ “Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra.” Peter describes the “Cool Jazz Era” experience as “on the seat of my pants exciting” as he lays down the sure solid bass line under Mr. Pittel’s flying fingers.
Peter and his wife Helen have two teenage children: a son Nicholas, who is getting a degree in computer science, and a daughter, Elizabeth, a ballet and tap dancer. As a hobby, Peter enjoys woodworking and restoring furniture. He returns regularly to his homeland of Oz (as many in the U.K. refer to it) to visit family, enjoying the similarity of weather and foliage between Australia and Southern California. From the sparkling emerald harbors of Sydney to the shimmering shores of tinsel town, Peter Doubrovsky has found true gold in his life with his family, his career, and the California Philharmonic.