Roman Patkoló born in 1982 in Zilina, Slovakia. He began studying double bass at the age of 13 and was recognized as a musician of exceptional talent. He has the awards and competition wins to prove it, including first prize at the Slovak National Competition for Double Bass in 1997, winning the International Society of Bassists Competition in 1999, first prize at the 2000 J. M. Sperger International Music Competition, the world’s most prestigious double bass award, where he was also honored with five Special Prizes.
Roman Patkoló has performed internationally as a soloist with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, St. Petersburg Theater Orchestra, the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has received high acclaim from musical luminaries such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir André Previn, and Zubin Mehta. A scholar of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation since 1999, Patkoló plays a fine vintage double bass by Niccolo Gagliano, acquired for him by the Foundation.
The Circle of Friends of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation is helping to extend the repertoire for double bass by commissioning music from prominent contemporary composers like Wolfgang Rihm, Krzysztof Penderecki, and André Previn, whose Double Concerto for Violin, Double Bass, and Orchestra was premiered in 2007 with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Roman Patkoló and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer himself. The bassist is also a member of the virtuoso bass quartet, Bassiona Amorosa.
The challenges of playing bass are not just artistic ones (an interviewer on German TV pointed out that the notes on a bass are a lot farther apart than on a violin; Roman Patkoló agreed: “It’s true; I cover many kilometers on the neck of my bass.”), but also logistical ones. Traveling on airplanes has become very difficult due to security issues and height restrictions; “that means I sometimes take a smaller instrument on tour.”
“To find a genuine virtuoso who is also a genuine musician is a rare and wonderful thing. Roman Patkoló is both, and on the double bass he can only be compared to a Paganini of our time.” Sir André Previn