Today Ödön Rácz is one of the most popular and successful double bass players in the world.
Born in Budapest, he learned the double bass at the age of nine. He continued his studies at the St. Stephan Conservatory with Gergely Járdanyi, a student of Ludwig Streichers. In 2001 he moved to the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, where he was accepted into Alois Posch's class.
After a successful audition, Ödön Rácz began his service in 2004 as a member of the double bass group of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. Since 2009 he has been engaged as a solo double bass player both there and with the Vienna Philharmonic.
As a soloist, Ödön Rácz has appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, the Haydn Philharmonie, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Kiel Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Prague and the German Chamber Orchestra Berlin. As a soloist and in various chamber music formations, he also plays in Europe, Brazil, China, Korea and Japan and regularly gives master classes in Italy, Hungary, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Shanghai.
Ödön Rácz will open the 2020/21 season with a concert at MüPa in Budapest, where he will play with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Stefan Vladar, before going on an extensive tour with the German Chamber Orchestra Berlin during the season will go through Germany and Austria. He will also be a guest with the orchestras in Lübeck, Sofia and in Zug in Switzerland.
After his debut CD with works by Giovanni Bottesini, Johann Matthias Sperger and Hans Fryba was released by Lamati in 1997, Rácz recorded Bottesini's double concerto for Hungaroton in 2003. In 2013 his CD Double Bass Fantasy was released with highly virtuoso works by Vask, Gottfried von One, Vecsey and Paganini.
His debut with Deutsche Grammophon followed in January 2016. Together with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, he interprets major concerts for double bass and orchestra by Dittersdorf, Vanhal and Bottesini on his first CD for the traditional label.
His current CD "My Double Bass" was released in January 2019 by Deutsche Grammophon. Rácz worked again with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, this time under the direction of the Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci. In addition to works by Piazzolla and Rota, he also presents Bottesini's Gran Duo Concertante, in which Rácz plays with the violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley, who, like himself, is a member of The Philharmonix ensemble.
Even in his early youth, Rácz was a prizewinner of important competitions such as the “10th Eurovision Young Musicians” in Bergen (2000) or the International Johann Prunner Competition Bucharest (2002). In 2003 he succeeded finally to win the third prize of the important international music competition of the ARD in Munich.
Ödön Rácz is the fourth generation in a family of double bass players. Great-grandfather and grandfather played in bands, the father in an orchestra. Rácz plays a double bass made by Michael Ignatius Stadlmann (Vienna, 1781).
© Lukas Beck