A native of Edmonton, Ian Whitman was introduced to the bass at age 17 and spent two years studying jazz at Grant MacEwan College. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Music degree at McGill University, where he studied with members of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Ian completed his Master of Music from Yale University 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 at the New England Conservatory, Ian joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony as principal bass in 2008.
During his student years, Ian was a member of the National Youth Orchestra, the Banff Festival Orchestra and L'orchestre de la francophonie canadienne.. 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.
He has performed with multiple Canadian orchestras, including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic. Locally, Ian has appeared as soloist with the KW Symphony and the KW Chamber Orchestra, performed with the Penderecki String Quartet and works regularly with the KW Chamber Music Society in Waterloo and the Inner Chamber Series in Stratford. Since 2012, he has taught at Wilfrid Laurier and is delighted to be on faculty at Conrad Grebel University College.
Ian lives in Kitchener with this wife, violinist Allene Chomyn and their two young children.