Charlotte Symphony double bassist Jeff Ferdon began his musical studies with Donald Hergert and Ole Nelson in his hometown of Duluth, Minnesota. While in high school he was a member of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra and spent his summers studying at the Symphony School of America. In 1979 Jeff was a finalist in the Minnesota Orchestra’s WAMSO competition and, as a finalist, was awarded a scholarship position at the North Carolina School of the Arts for studies with Lynn Peters. He received NCSA’s Vittorio Giannini Prize in 1983 and graduated in 1984. While a student at NCSA he was a bassist with the Greensboro and Winston-Salem Symphonies.
Jeff joined the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra in 1985 and in 1998 was named to the position of "3rd chair/non-rotating bassist." The unusual title means that while he generally plays in the bass section he also takes on the responsibilities of Principal and Assistant Principal Bass as the need arises.
Since joining the CSO Jeff has remained active throughout the region as a chamber musician and soloist. He regularly appears on the concert series of Providence United Methodist Church and Chamber Music at St. Peter's. He has also given numerous performances as a featured soloist with the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Jeff's love for music of the Renaissance and Baroque led him to study viola da gamba with Martha Bishop and Brent Wissick. He plays viola da gamba and Baroque double bass as a member of Ensemble Vita Nova and has appeared with other early music ensembles including Wild Rose, Blue Castello and Carolina Pro Musica. This past year he has teamed up with CSO musician Tom Burge, who is a wonderful tenor, to perform songs by John Dowland and Henry Purcell.
In addition to his work as a performer Jeff also teaches privately, is a Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra coach and an adjunct instructor of double bass at Davidson College.
Jeff's wife, Ellen, is a violist in the Charlotte Symphony and they have a wonderful son, Alden. Away from music Jeff is an assistant cross country coach for East Mecklenburg High School and enjoys running, reading and working word puzzles.