John Tattersdill was born in Harrogate. He started to learn the piano at the age of five and the double bass at eleven eventually graduating with a Recital Diploma on Piano from the Royal Manchester College of Music in 1972. He joined the CBSO in 1973 becoming the Section Leader in 1977. He’s enjoyed all the projects and tours of the orchestra over the years and reckons “this is the best job a bass player in the UK can have.”
The CBSO has created a wonderful environment for players to develop and one of the rewards of this was the formation by CBSO players of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in 1987. John has been an ardent and enthusiastic member ever since. At the other end of the musical spectrum John recently discarded the modern metal strings on his bass, replaced them with gut ones and went off to do “Das Rheingold” with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. “Great fun! I really take my hat off to my bass player ancestors. How they played some of the bass parts with those strings I’ll never know!”
John has a very close relationship with the wonderful Maggini Quartet with whom he’s performed most of the chamber music repertoire which requires a double bass. He has a wide range of hobbies such as cooking and hiking, and holds a commercial pilots licence. He’s been a part time flying instructor since 1990.
John’s main highlight of his time with the BCMG was the performance and DVD recording of Tom Adès’ Powder Her Face.