John Hester, Assistant Director of the Schwab Music Academy began in music at an early age. After studying various instruments including piano and voice, he quickly discovered his love for the double bass and began with private studies. Progressing quickly, he was soon touring Europe and won positions in the San Francisco Youth Symphony, Debut Orchestra, and the American Youth Symphony. His teachers have included Charles Siani, Principal Bassist with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Ed Meares, Principal Bass of the Pasadena Symphony, Peter Rofé, Bassist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Julius Levine, renowned bassist and pedagogue. Mr. Hester received his Bachelor of Music performance degree from California State University, Northridge and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts. He has performed at various music festivals across America including the Round Top Festival and the Malibu Strawberry Creek Festival. Mr. Hester is currently Principal Bass of the Dutch International Chamber Orchestra based in Amsterdam and the United Armenian - American Chamber Orchestra based in Yerevan, Armenia. He also performs with the Bakersfield Symphony in an Associate Principal Bass capacity. He has also served as Principal Bass with the Classical Concert Chamber Orchestra. In 2016, Mr. Hester was honored to be invited to perform with an ensemble at the White House for a private function hosted by the President Obama. Mr. Hester frequently performs with many ensembles around Southern California such as the Pasadena Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, New West Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Opera, Redlands Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Riverside Philharmonic, Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra, Dream Orchestra, and the avant-garde Orchestra Unleashed, as well as many others. An avid chamber musician, he has performed noted premiers of new works by Esa-Pekka Salonen and William Toutant with the Composers in attendance. Mr. Hester as toured with chamber orchestras extensively throughout Europe and Scandinavia, as well as Armenia and China.
An avid teacher, Mr. Hester maintains an active private studio and has trained aspiring artists for international television performances with Disney’s Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra as well as working with students at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. As an adjunct faculty member he has taught string bass at California State University at Northridge, Pepperdine University, California Lutheran University, California Baptist University, and currently teaches string bass at The Master’s University, Ventura College, and Moorpark College. Mr. Hester also holds a current California Teaching Credential in Instrumental Music and enjoys teaching orchestra in the public schools at every level.
In an Administrative capacity, Mr. Hester has been successful in the positions of Contractor, Director of Operations, and Manager for domestic and international orchestras, as well as the current Assistant Director for the Schwab Music Academy. Currently, Mr. Hester is also the Manager for the Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra, AV Master Chorale, and the new AV Strings Academy which he has helped to develop into a successful after school teaching program for underprivileged and underserved students. Enrolled students are provided free access to instruments, curriculum, and experienced, professional instructors.