College of Liberal Arts
UT Arlington Music
UT Arlington Music Department

Dr. Jack Unzicker

Associate Professor
Area: Double Bass

Phone: 817-272-3471
Office Location: FA 254
Degree(s): D.M.A. University of North Texas, M.M. University of North Texas, B.M. Western Washington University
Mentis Profile:

Jack Unzicker is the Associate Professor of Double Bass at the University of Texas at Arlington and is a sought-after performer and educator. He has extensive and varied experience in all performance areas, from early music to contemporary, solo, chamber, and orchestral, as well as jazz and electric bass. He maintains an active performing schedule, over 300 performances since his appointment at UT Arlington in 2012.

Raised in Juneau, Alaska, he began his musical studies with piano, guitar, and percussion and began performing as a professional bassist and teaching private lessons at the age of fourteen. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of North Texas, where he studied solo and orchestral performance, orchestral conducting, jazz studies, and early music with Jeff Bradetich, Paul Sharpe, Bill Clay, Anshel Brusilow, Lynn Seaton, and Lenora McCroskey. Dr. Unzicker earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Western Washington University where he studied jazz studies, performance, and contemporary music with Chuck Israels, Anna Doak, and Roger Briggs. Dr. Unzicker continued his studies at the Henry Mancini Institute, working with Bertram Turetzky, Christian McBride, and John Clayton, the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, and the Pirastro Strings Elite Soloists Program.

In 2016, Dr. Unzicker was a featured soloist with the Dallas Chamber Symphony, performing Hindemith’s Trauermusik. Upcoming projects include a recording for commercial release in 2017, of an ongoing duo project. This duo project is in collaboration with Dr. Martha Walvoord, UT Arlington violin professor, and contemporary composers to commission, perform, and record new works for violin and double bass. Composers include six-time Grammy-award winner Michael Daugherty, Roger Briggs, Andrea Clearfield, Tom Knific, George Chave, and Daniel M. Cavanagh. The duo will perform a recital at the International Society of Bassists 2017 Convention in Ithaca, NY on June 10, 2017.

Dr. Unzicker’s recent chamber music performances include the Adams Chamber Symphony, Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, 2, 3, & 6, Beethoven Septet, Bruch Octet, Ginastera Variaciones Concertantes, Prokofiev Quintet, Stravinsky L’Histoire du soldat, and Brahms Sextet in B-flat Major, Svendsen Octet, and Schubert Octet with members of the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera, Fort Worth Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, and professors from Rice University and the University of North Texas. Dr. Unzicker is also principal double bass of the Dallas Chamber Symphony and Santa Fe Pro Musica.

As an orchestral musician, Dr. Unzicker has performed with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony, Fort Worth Opera, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Holland Symphony, Waco Symphony, and as principal of the AIMS Festival Orchestra (Austria), Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Divertimento (Costa Rica), and Plano Symphony Orchestra. He has worked extensively with conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, as well as Jaap Van Zweden, Otto Werner-Mueller, Larry Rachleff, Rossen Milanov, James Conlon, Anshel Brusilow, and Gunther Schuller.

As a pedagogue, Dr. Unzicker serves on the board of the Bradetich Foundation, a double bass performance and education organization, and is the Bass Forum Editor for the journal American String Teacher. He has been featured in articles on playing and teaching the double bass in The Strad, Bass World, American String Teacher, and Strings Magazine and frequently performs, adjudicates, and presents at the International Society of Bassists, American String Teachers Association, and Texas Music Educators Association Conventions.  In the summers, he performs and teaches as Artist Faculty and as the Assistant Director of the Annual Bradetich Double Bass Master Classes.

Current and former students of Dr. Unzicker have been accepted to undergraduate, graduate, and summer programs at the Colburn School, Juilliard School, University of Southern California, Boston University, Indiana University, University of North Texas, Florida State University, University of Texas, North Carolina School of the Arts, New World Symphony, Curtis Institute of Music Summerfest, Aspen Music Festival and School, National Orchestral Institute, National Repertory Orchestra, Interlochen Arts Camp, Round Top Music Festival, Texas Chamber Music Institute, and the WaBass Institute. The double bass studio at the University of Texas at Arlington has proudly hosted many guest artists recently, including Artist-In-Residence Eddie Gomez, Ira Gold, Milton Masciadri, Jeff Bradetich, Brian Perry, Aaro Heinonen, and the Bassinova Quartet.

Dr. Unzicker performs primarily on instruments by Daniel Hachez and Albert Jakstadt, and a bow by Reid Hudson.

Courses taught at UT Arlington:

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Double Bass Lessons
  • Double Bass Studio Class
  • Orchestral Excerpts
  • Chamber Music
  • Music in Film
  • Music History I & II
  • Music Literature
  • Advanced String Class
  • String Class
  • Ear Training
  • Music Appreciation