Jim Bates

Jim Bates



Battelle Fine Arts Center 107


Professor Jim Bates is Director of Orchestral Activities at Otterbein University in Columbus, OH and serves as an assistant conductor for the Westerville Symphony (OH) and Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras. Teaching duties at Otterbein include String Methods and Pedagogy, Bass, and Introduction to Music. Dr. Bates coordinates the music history area of the department and teaches Music History and Literature –Romantic and Modern Eras. He also teaches an advanced seminar in music history. Conducting duties in the department include leading the string orchestra and directing the early music ensemble. As a conductor and teacher, Dr. Bates is able to draw on considerable experience as an educator, performer and historian. For eighteen years he was a conductor for the Louisville (KY) Youth Orchestras and was music director of that organization from 1996 – 2001. In 1999 he joined the conducting staff of Interlochen Center for the Arts and continues to direct the Junior Orchestra program and Junior Advanced String Institute there during the summer. In fall 2006 he began as an assistant conductor for the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras. He has served as a clinician or guest conductor in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, Alabama, Texas, Colorado and Saskatchewan, Canada. He has served as president of Kentucky ASTA and as string coordinator for the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. From 2010-2012 Dr. Bates chaired the Coda Bows for America Community Outreach Program for ASTA, and currently serves on the state board of the Ohio String Teacher’s Association. In addition to string education he is very involved with the Classical Mandolin Society of America and period instrument performance. He is on the National Board of Directors of CMSA and chairs their educational initiatives. Dr. Bates is music director of The Early Interval, Columbus’ professional early music performance ensemble and serves on the board of directors for Early Music Columbus. He has degrees from the University of Louisville (B.M.E.), a Masters in double bass performance from Indiana University, where he studied bass with Lawrence Hurst and baroque performance with Stanley Ritchie, and a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Kentucky. He has two sons, Ethan and Gideon.


  • University of Louisville (B.M.E.)
  • Indiana University, Masters in double bass performance
  • University of Kentucky, Ph.D. in Musicology

Research, Creative, & Professional Work

Research interests center around issues of music performance practice. One ongoing research project involves the improvised practices of viola da gamba players in the late Renaissance and early Baroque. A recent sabbatical project focused on nineteenth-century orchestral performance practice as documented in the recordings of the early 20th century. Dr. Bates has presented at the Ohio Music Educators Association and the national convention of the American String Teachers Association on topics of performance practice, string class pedagogy and mandolin education. Dr. Bates is a frequent clinician and guest conductor at the Classical Mandolin Society of America national convention. In 2000, he received the distinguished teaching professor award from the University of Louisville.