Affiliate artist, double bass

A native Vermonter, William Tilley began playing double bass professionally at age 17 when he won an audition for the Vermont Symphony. In 1983 he was accepted at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with Roger M. Scott, former Principal Bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Upon graduating, he played regularly with a variety of ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet and The Opera Company of Philadelphia.

In his seven years as alternate bass with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Tilley has worked with the majority of the world’s leading conductors, including Sergiu Celibidache, Leonard Bernstein, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Eric Leinsdorf, Georges Pretre and Ricardo Muti. His international career includes tours with the Philadelphia Orchestra to Europe and the Americas, the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Music Festival and the BBC Proms. In addition, he has made three recordings with the Philadelphia Orchestra under three different conductors: Ricardo Muti, Charles Dutoit and the late Wolfgang Sawallisch.

Mr. Tilley is an avid chamber musician as well, playing with many local ensembles including two series for the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, playing with such chamber music greats as cellists Peter Wiley, Edward Aaron and violinist / Festival Director Soovin Kim. He plays for the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, is Principal Bass of the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, and played Principal Bass for the former Vermont Mozart Festival.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Tilley is the double bass coach for the Vermont Youth Orchestra and has taught many of its students privately. He is founder of the Wahnfried Studio in Charlotte, VT, which offers a wide range of musical instruction from general music appreciation and basic musical reading to coaching in historically aware performance practice and musical theory. The mission of the Wahnfried Studio is to generate awareness and appreciation for the great traditions of the musical past and to find joy and satisfaction in hard work, which makes substantial art possible. Some of Mr. Tilley's students have been accepted at prestigious music schools such as Manhattan School of Music, Peabody, Eastman and Hart.

William Tilley


  • B.Mus. (Performance - Double Bass), Curtis Institute of Music


Courses Taught

MUL T - Applied Lessons, double bass