November 5, 2022

Guest Conductor: Ian Whitman


Ian Whitman began his musical training on piano at the age of four but his true passion for music was ignited in his early teens when he picked up the electric guitar. He soon switched to the bass guitar and was introduced to the double bass at age 17. Ian studied jazz at Grant MacEwan College in his hometown of Edmonton before moving east to earn his Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University. He completed his Master of Music degree at Yale University and spent one year at the New England Conservatory in Boston before returning to Canada. 

While studying, Ian was a member of the National Youth Orchestra, the Banff Festival Orchestra, and served as Principal Bass of L’orchestre de la francophonie canadienne.
In 2008, Ian began his current position of principal bass with the KW Symphony and has been on faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University since 2012. During his years in the region, he has appeared as soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, performed with the Penderecki String Quartet, the Numus Ensemble, and has worked with the KW Chamber Music Society in Waterloo, the InnerChamber Series in Stratford, and the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie. He has performed with Canadian orchestras including l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic. Recently, he has been invited to play as guest principal bass with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic, and the Niagara Symphony. 

He is heavily involved with the KW Symphony Youth Orchestra program and has served as coach and occasional conductor for the program’s four ensembles. 

Ian is proud to reside in Waterloo Region and takes great interest in the history and culture of the area. He is passionate about sharing music with as many in the community as possible through the Symphony’s outreach program. In addition to traditional concerts, he regularly visits local schools, retirement homes, and community centres to speak and perform. 

Ian lives in Kitchener with his wife, violinist Allene Chomyn, their two young children, and outspoken dog. His interests outside of music include reading, martial arts, and relaxing.