A native of Edmonton, Ian Whitman was introduced to the bass at age 17 by Ioan Tetel of the Edmonton Symphony and spent 2 years studying jazz at Grant MacEwan College with the ESO’s John Taylor. Ian went on to get his Bachelor’s of Music degree at McGill University where he studied with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal bassists Brian Robinson and Eric Chappell. He completed his Master's of Music from Yale University School of Music, under the tutelage of Donald Palma, Founding Member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and during this time, made his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York and Symphony Hall in Boston. After a year of guidance from Boston Symphony Orchestra bassist James Orleans, Ian joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 2008.
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. He has performed with Canadian orchestras including l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic. Throughout his training, Ian studied with world-class bass players including Joel Quarrington, Edgar Meyer, and Jan Urke and has played for artists from ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Tokyo String Quartet. In 2009 Ian was one of only 5 Canadians chosen to be part of the very first “YouTube Symphony Orchestra,” for which 90 musicians from 27 countries were selected from thousands of entries to perform a concert at Carnegie Hall, under music director Michael Tilson Thomas.
During his time in the region, Ian 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, INNERchamber in Stratford, and the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie.
Ian joined the Faculty of Wilfrid Laurier University in September 2012 and has been involved with the KWS Youth Orchestra program as a coach since 2010.