Blake Hilley is a Juilliard award-winning double bassist who has performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Blake also is a singer and songwriter, who made his debut with his original song, "Fairytales," released on all streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music. As a classical soloist, he has released an EP of classical impressionistic songs: "Selections for Double Bass and Piano"; available on all streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music. Blake also released his classical single: "Kol Nidrei"; onto all streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music.
Blake studies double bass with Rex Surany, Principal Bassist of the Metropolitan Opera, at the Juilliard School. Blake also has studied with Albert Laszlo at Juilliard until his retirement. Blake studied on scholarship with Joel Quarrington, former Principal Bassist of the London Symphony Orchestra, at Orford Musique. Blake has played in the Juilliard Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Itzhak Perlman, Maestro Jeffery Milarsky, Maestro Gil Rose, Maestra Karina Canellakis, Maestra Marin Alsop, and Maestro David Robertson. He also has performed with the New Juilliard Ensemble under the baton of Maestro Dr. Joel Sachs. With the Juilliard Orchestra, Blake has performed at both Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall and Alice Tully Hall. Blake also performed Mahler's 5th Symphony at Carnegie Hall with the Juilliard Orchestra under Maestro David Robertson. With the Juilliard Opera, Blake held principal bassist for the production of Mozart's "Cosi fan Tutte" at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. As a soloist, Blake has premiered a new work for the solo double bass called "Bass Heart" by Bishu Chattopadhyay. In addition, Blake won top honors in his division of the 2020 Camerata Artists International Competition. Artists Blake has played with include the Goat Rodeo Sessions, featuring Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and Stuart Duncan. During the Pandemic, Blake was honored to be selected to perform with Itzhak Perlman and the Juilliard Orchestra in their virtual performance of Elgar's Nimrod featured on CBS Sunday Morning.
In high school, Blake was the former Principal Bassist of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra for two consecutive years. He also was the former Principal Bassist of the Young Artists’ Orchestra at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Blake also has been a featured soloist at the Midwest Clinic and at the Philadelphia International Music Festival. He has received honorable mentions for his performance in both the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition and the multi-state Young Artists Competition at Kennesaw State University. In addition, he won top prize in the John H. Head Scholarship Award from the Atlanta Federation of Musicians. He also received the Kirk D. Moss Scholarship.
Blake enjoys performing both as a solo artist and as a member in the orchestra. He loves to explore the versatility of the bass and bring the true voice of the instrument to the public. Blake discusses his passion for the bass further in an interview with Jason Heath, founder of Contrabass Conversations.
As an artist who enjoys connecting with his audience, he has played concerts at libraries and retirement homes in Atlanta with his talented sister, Ilana Hilley, an expert cellist. They both enjoy demonstrating the power of music not only in the concert hall, but in the everyday moments that can be made to last through music. Blake has also joined quarantineconcerts.tv as a way to bring music to individuals at home during the pandemic.