Profiled in Ebony Magazine as one of 30 Leaders 30 and Younger, Joseph H. Conyers is the newly appointed assistant principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He joins Philadelphia after a one-and-a-half tenure with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, three-and-a half years as principal bass of the Grand Rapids Symphony (MI), and four summers as a member of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra (NM).
Described by the Grand Rapids Press as “a lyrical musician who plays with authenticity that transcends mere technique,” Conyers performed as soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony in a concerto commissioned by the GRS and written for him entitled “Prayers of Rain and Wind” by John B Hedges. He has also soloed with the Alabama Symphony, Flagstaff Symphony, the Savannah Symphony and Civic Orchestras, and the Sphinx Symphony having won second prize at the 2004 Sphinx Competition in Detroit, MI. In June 2010, Conyers made a solo appearance with the Dekalb Symphony Orchestra (GA) performing the Koussevitzky Bass Concerto.
Conyers has performed throughout the United States and Europe. He has served as principal (solo) bass of the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra with whom he traveled extensively and recorded on the Naxos label. He also has served as assistant principal bass for Symphony in C (formerly the Haddonfield Symphony). Conyers has been a fellowship student and held principal positions at numerous music festivals including the Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Verbier Music Festival in Switzerland, Brevard Music Center, and the Britten-Pears Music Festival in England. Conyers has performed in a number of orchestras including the Boston and Detroit Symphonies, Minnesota Orchestra, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in a number of prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria.
A recipient of numerous awards and honors, Conyers attended The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and graduated with his bachelors degree studying with both Hal Robinson, principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and double bass soloist Edgar Meyer. Other mentors have included David Warshauer, Daniel Swaim, and Albert Laszlo. In 1999 he was one of the first guests of NPR’s “From the Top” with host Christopher O’Riley on one of its pilot shows. He was the inaugural recipient of the Sanford Allen Award (a $10,000 prize) from the Sphinx Competition, and in February of 2010, he was the first Sphinx Competition laureate to serve on the distinguished jury panel for the competition.
Conyers is the founder of Project 440 (project440.org). Formerly known as MusicAlive!, Project 440 has reached thousands of youths – exposing children and adults to classical music throughout the Savannah region. Broadening on that mission and acknowledging how the classical music industry must continually evolve with our ever changing world, Project 440 educates musicians from around the country how to become active, relevant, and integral pillars within their communities.