World-renowned double bassist Milton Masciadri, a professor in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, has been named a University Professor—an honor bestowed selectively on UGA faculty who have had a significant impact on the university in addition to fulfilling their normal academic responsibilities.
Masciadri was nominated for the award by colleagues in the School of Music who noted his accomplishments on and off campus, which range from developing a robust program for double-bass students to coordinating the school’s international programs and study abroad to performing in major venues in this country and around the world.
“Professor Masciadri represents the very best of what a University of Georgia senior faculty member should be: someone who has developed an international reputation but has not lost sight of his responsibilities to his own campus and students,” said Jere Morehead, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.
Morehead got to know Masciadri years ago when, in a previous role as director of UGA’s Honors Program, Morehead asked the Uruguay native to lead a travel study program to Uruguay and Argentina for students in the Foundation Fellows Program.
“He planned an extraordinary program and gave up his spring break to do it,” Morehead said. “I witnessed first-hand his ability to relate to students and the many sacrifices he made to ensure a successful program of study.”
Masciadri, carrying his double bass throughout the trip, accompanied the students on a long flight back to Atlanta only to depart immediately for a scheduled solo performance in Italy, Morehead recalled.
Such dedication also was noted by emeritus faculty member Brent Berlin, with whom Masciadri worked on the development of an interdisciplinary program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at UGA. Masciadri served for 15 years on the advisory board, during which the program achieved institute status and began offering a bachelor’s degree.
Masciadri joined the School of Music, part of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, in 1984 to start a double bass program and five years later earned a tenure-track appointment. In 1990, he launched a double bass symposium that has become one of the largest and most prestigious of such events in the U.S., attracting some of the leading bassists in the world as featured artists. The annual symposium was held earlier this month.
Masciadri’s studio typically includes 12-14 double-bass majors—ranging from freshmen to doctoral students—and graduates have gone on to their own successful teaching and performing careers.
“He has recruited superb music students, who come from across the U.S. and around the world to study with him,” said Dale Monson, director of the Hodgson School of Music. “His students form the basis for the rich string section sound of the UGA Symphony Orchestra.”
Masciadri is a third-generation double bass player, and his son has extended it to four generations. Born in Montevideo, he began his studies with his father. By 17, he was co-principal bassist with the Porto Alegre Symphony in Brazil, and at age 19, he was on the faculty at the Federal University there. He completed his master’s and doctoral degrees with work under Gary Karr, Julius Levine and Lawrence Wolfe.
A frequent soloist with major symphony orchestras, Masciadri maintains an active travel schedule and teaches at international music festivals and double bass conventions during the summer. Masciadri also regularly appears as a judge at international competitions in Europe, the U.S. and South America. His honors include being named a UNESCO Artist for Peace in 1998 and receiving the Medal of Honor for academic achievements and services to the people of Brazil awarded by the Federal System of Universities in Brazil.
Masciadri performs on a 300-year-old Testore double bass. Also known as the string bass or upright bass, the double bass is the lowest pitched bowed string instrument in a modern symphony orchestra.
Candidates for University Professor must hold the rank of professor and have been on the UGA faculty for 10 years. The award includes a permanent salary increase of $10,000, plus a yearly academic support account of $5,000 as long as the position is held. University Professor appointments generally are continuous until retirement or resignation.
“I am honored to have been nominated and received this award from the university and very pleased that through my work, I have being able to impact students and faculty,” Masciadri said.