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Roger Ruggeri is principal bassist with the Milwaukee Symphony and a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin. As a soloist he performed the world premieres of his own Mythos with Lukas Foss and the Milwaukee Symphony and his own edition of the Dittersdorf Concerto No. 1 at the Grand Teton Festival. He also played the American premieres of Respighi's Concerto a Cinque and Serge Lancen's Concerto.

About Thanatos he writes: "In Greek mythology, Thanatos and Hypnos were twin bothers who respectively personified death and sleep. A companion piece to Hypnos (for solo cello), Thanatos is a poetically virtuosic work which utilizes the inherent symbolism of the double bass and its sonority to evoke a gamut of associations with its title. It is respectfully dedicated to the memory of three bassists who helped to set me on my path: Ferdinand Maresh, Leslie "Tiny" Martin and Oscar Zimmerman.

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