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Chris Laven with his bass

Meet the Orchestra: Chris Laven

Double Bass
May 21, 2024

Double bassist Christopher Laven grew up in a musical family and began his studies at a young age while living in Houston, Texas. He didn’t start the bass until his family relocated to Massachusetts in 2006, but, while growing up in the Greater Boston area, Laven studied primarily with Susan Hagan, while frequently taking lessons from Larry Wolfe. He received his bachelor’s degree in Houston at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studied with Tim Pitts. He would go on to complete his master’s degree in Boston, where he studied with Todd Seeber at the New England Conservatory (NEC). 

As a student, Laven spent his summers studying at the Music Academy of the West (2018) and at the Tanglewood Music Center (2022 and 2023). During his time at NEC, he had the pleasure of performing with many orchestras in the Boston area, he also enjoyed coaching alongside some of his former teachers at the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras—an organization of which he is an alumnus and to which he attributes a lot of his musical growth. In the fall of 2023, he joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra double bass section. Outside of classical music, Laven is also a music producer who works closely with Latino artist 3van, who is a close friend from high school. Together, they have embarked on a US tour; released multiple EPs, which can be heard on streaming services; and collaborated with acclaimed rap artist Snoop Dogg.

For the latest installation of our Meet the Orchestra series, Laven takes us back to where it all started with the double bass, what he would say to his younger self starting on the instrument, and what he appreciates most about the impact of music on the lives of Torontonians. 

Meet the Orchestra: Chris Laven