Jacobs School student Kurt Riecken is the second recipient of the Lawrence P. Hurst Medal in Double Bass. The annual prize, initiated in 2013, was announced at the May 2014 commencement ceremony in the Musical Arts Center.
Riecken recently earned his Master’s in Music at the Jacobs School, studying with Kurt Muroki and Craig Brown, and is considered among the top bassists at the Jacobs School, based on orchestral auditions, demonstrated performance level, and strong evidence of establishing a professional performing career.
He previously attended the University of Central Florida, graduating with honors and earning degrees in Music Performance and Electrical Engineering. He has participated in major music festivals including the National Repertory Orchestra and Aspen Music Festival on fellowship, and has participated in recordings on the Naxos label. He most recently performed on the soundtrack for the film Noah. In 2013, Riecken performed as guest principal for the Quad City Symphony. In the fall, he will continue his studies with Muroki in a Performer’s Diploma program.
About the Lawrence Hurst Medal
Former students of Hurst from both the Jacobs School and the University of Michigan created the award to honor the professor emeritus of double bass after his retirement in 2012. They all contributed to the Lawrence Hurst scholarship fund, which now has a medal awarded each year in addition to the monetary award.
Spearheaded by Park Carmon, the medal is awarded each year at the end of the spring semester, if there is a worthy candidate. The winner is chosen by the String Department, the Financial Aid Committee, and Hurst.
About Lawrence Hurst
Professor Emeritus Lawrence Hurst received his professional music training at the University of Michigan School of Music on a full-tuition, room and board General Motors Academic Scholarship. In 1959, he graduated magnum cum laude, was installed as a member of phi beta kappa, and awarded the UM School of Music’s highest honor, the Stanley Medal.
After serving in the 7th Army Symphony Orchestra in Europe for two years, he began his playing career as principal bassist with the Dallas Symphony under the baton of Sir Georg Solti. He returned to Michigan where he was a member of the faculty from 1964 – 1985. For seven years he was also Associate Dean.
In 1986 he joined the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music until his retirement in 2012. For 25 of those years he was Chair of the String Dept. In 2005, The American String Teachers Association awarded him Artist/Teacher of the Year. In 2013, The International Society of Bassists gave him their highest honor, The Distinguished Achievement Award.