Thierry Barbé is principal bass at the National Opera de Paris Orchestra (  ), double bass professor at the National Superior Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP and also at the National Regional St-Maur conservatoire ( ).

Born in Metz, a town located in the Lorraine region of Eastern France, heart of Europe, Barbé studied piano and double bass while simultaneously pursuing a degree in science, before devoting himself exclusively to music at CNSMDP, where he studied in music theory and analysis classes (Casterede), music history (François-Sappey), harmony (Raynaud), counterpoint (Henry), electro-acoustic music (Zbar), conducting (Dervaux), and of course double bass (Rollez).

This is why his approach in music teaching is based on a true harmony understanding, as a composer, which adds values on a natural phrasing. This can open our mind considering, sometime, misinterpretations and habits in bass repertoire.

In Opera house, Barbé played with fabulous conductors and during 10 years at the same stand with François Rabbath, who became also his bass professor and gave him a free opened minded attitude. He met Thomas Martin in the Capbreton Academy who became a true father and shared his Bottesini and bass schools passions. This is partly why since 1999, he succeeded Pierre Hellouin as president of the French Bass Society (Association des Bassistes et Contrebassistes de France  ABCDF, with a passionned team and the great Claudine Petiot, french version of Madeleine Crouch ISB manager), and organized the Paris Bass’2008 convention, with Hans Sturm président of ISB. He served as board member in International Society of Bassists as well.

From 2000 to 2008, each years, ABCDF organized bass competitions for all ages categories, which encouraged the development of our actual Young bass virtuoses.

Barbé played recitals bass-piano with sensitive and expressive “French touch » (Rollez) and gave master classes in Italy, Greece, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Arizona, Colorado,  Georgia, New-York Juilliard school, Germany, Austria, Norway, United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Denmark, Poland, Russia, Tcheque Republic, Slovakia and France. He appreciates all styles of music, from Bach to Xenakis, world music and jazz, and frequently performs his own compositions (his first CD Nomade, was released in 1998). He likes making transcriptions (Debussy cello sonata released in 2016 on DVD-CD «French Impressions) and Bass concerto creations (Richard Dubugnon cto and sonata) or repertoire re-discovering (Henry Tomasi cto 1971). 

Barbé experimented numerous international technical approaches of double bass and wants to reconcile them. He plays french and german bows, any fingerings, all focused on artistic expressivity. His pedagogy takes in account all the physical, musical and human parameters of each students.

Barbé is artistic director of the Biarritz International Bass Academy, bass summer camp every august since 6 years with prof. Marin Bea.

Thierry Barbé

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