Charles Barr, a member of the Cleveland Orchestra's double bass section, died in a tragic accident on 11 August 2006, aged thirty-one. He was killed by a collision with a pickup truck whilst he was riding his bicycle. Gary Hanson, executive director of the Cleveland Orchestra, said that Charles embodied all the strengths and qualities that define a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, and that the orchestra dedicated the opening moments of a concert two days later to Barr - a performance of the Air from Bach's Suite No 3, played without a conductor.
The young double bass player was born in Dallas into a musical family - his parents are both oboists. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and before his appointment to the Cleveland Orchestra's bass section at the start of the 2002 Blossom Festival season, he was principal bass of the Charleston Symphony (1999-2002) and a member of the New World Symphony in Miami (1998-1999).
Barr's desk partner for four years, Thomas Sperl, called him 'a phenomenal bass player ... very honest and direct. He loved conversation.'