This week’s episode of Contrabass Conversations features an interview with National Symphony bassist Ira Gold. Ira is an outstanding performer on the instrument, and he brings valuable insight into the process of learning and developing on the double bass in this interview. You will also get to hear Ira play the last movement of the Vanhal Concerto with orchestra. Check out the show notes below for Ira’s biography and a description of the other goodie’s on this week’s show. Enjoy!
Contrabass Conversations Episode 15 Show Notes
Interview with Ira Gold
Correction — In the introduction, we mentioned that Ira is the most recent addition to the National Symphony Orchestra bass section, but Paul Denola is actually the most recent bassist to join this section.
Last episode – John Grillo interview part 3 (final).
John played excerpts last week from Verdi’s Otello and Malher’s Second Symphony, and we are planning on doing a special podcast for people preparing auditions which will feature John performing a few dozen excerpts.
We also have upcoming recital showcases from double bassists Peter Lawson and Phillip Serna (who was featured on episodes 5 and 8 of the podcast).
Briefly discuss Rabbath episode for next week.
This episode features part 1 of our interview with National Symphony bassist Ira Gold.
Jason and Ira played together for several seasons in the IRIS Chamber Orchestra of Memphis, TN.
Ira Gold biography:
Ira J. Gold joined the National Symphony Orchestra in September of 2005 as
the orchestra’s youngest member. He was born and raised in Houston, Texas,
where he began violin studies at age 3. Mr. Gold started double bass
lessons at age 12, and became serious about pursuing a career in music
during high school. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree at Boston
University’s College of Fine Arts, and his Master of Music degree at Rice
University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he won the strings division of
the 2005 Concerto Competition. Mr. Gold performed the Vanhal Bass
Concerto with the Shepherd School of Music Chamber Orchestra in
February of 2006. His primary teachers include Edwin Barker and Paul Ellison,
and additional studies with Albert Laszlo, Kenneth Harper, Dennis Whittaker,
Mark Shapiro, and Harry Lantz.
Mr. Gold has performed with several orchestras around the country, including
the Minnesota Orchestra, and as Principal Bassist with the San Francisco
Symphony and Detroit Symphony. He has attended the Domaine Forget Music
Academy, Bach Festival Leipzig, Aspen Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music
Center, where he was a recipient of the Maurice Schwartz Prize. Mr. Gold
spent several summers at the International Festival Institute at Round Top
both as a student, and, during the summer of 2004, as a member of the bass
faculty. He has given masterclasses and recitals at the Peabody Conservatory
at Johns Hopkins University, James Madison University, and the Chautauqua Music Festival.
In addition to his position with the NSO, Mr. Gold has performed with the
Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble comprised of NSO members.
If you are interested in learning more about the concepts Ira brought up in this interview, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
After the interview, you will be hearing Ira play the third movement of the Vanhal bass concerto, and we will read some listener feedback and cover some news items in the bass world. We’ll conclude the episode with a song from Uncle Seth called, “You Don’t Need an iPod” which we’ll talk a little more about later.
-VANHAL CONCERTO MVT 3-
Philip Serna recital
Phillip W. Serna – Crossover Performance Phenomena within the Early Music Movement – Popular Idioms in Solo and in Consort – a Doctoral Lecture Recital (Viola da Gamba & Double Bass)
Jeanne Vail Chapel, Alice Millar Religious Center , Northwestern University
1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston , IL 60201
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 7:00PM
Phillip W. Serna will be exploring the intersection of popular music and art music in the 17th century. Featuring transcriptions for double bass, as well as unaccompanied solo literature for viola da gamba, repertoire will include ballad settings from the Manchester Lyra-Viol Manuscript, John Playford’s Musicks Recreation on the Viol, Lyra-Way, as well as consort settings.
….from Meredith Nelson
My name is Meredith Nelson. I’m a double bassist living just outside Toronto. Just writing to let you know how much I’ve been enjoying the podcast and the website.
Meredith has a great story about a painful experience while flying with a bass, and I’ll relay that story on my blog, so look for that soon.
…from Lenny Tischler
Jason…what was the solo bass piece played between the interview with John Grillo and Terry Plumeri playing Footprints? It was in my opinion a very cool piece of music and I want to learn it…Lenny Tischler
….from Michael Binder
I like your website very much. I am a bass player and teacher from Germany and I live with my wife since three years in Spain. My wife is spanish.
It is interesting to see that in the US there are many small orchestras and people seems to be proud of playing in this orchestras. In Germany and Spain you are only “somebody” when you play in the big famous orchestas, otherwise you seem that you are not good enough as musican.
How is this in the US?? Is it right what it seems to be or is there more show than reality?
Greetings from Spain y un saludo
….from David Ballam
I hope you are doing well. I’m writing to put a bug in your ear about an really cool upcoming concert at your alma mater. It’s next Wednesday, April 4th (7:30pm) at Pick-Staiger. The concert is entitled “QuadroPhonia: A Feast of Fours with the the Wacker Consort”. The Wacker Consort, is the doublebass quartet made up of CSO musicians (Daniel Armstrong, Michael Hovnanian, Robert Kassinger, and Stephen Lester). I know they are doing the Schuller Quartet by themselves, and then myself and three others are joining them to make an octet of basses performing a Renaissance piece by Susato.
Song from Uncle Seth
We’ll finish up the episode today with a song by the band Uncle Seth. This song is called “You Don’t Need an iPod” and it is a short little public service announcement correcting some misconceptions people have about podcasts. I’m really trying to keep the technical geek talk to a minimum on this show and keep it focused on bass, but I definitely get asked, “I don’t have an iPod. How do I listen to your show?” frequently. This song will hopefully correct come misconceptions about how people can access this show. Internet, iPod, through your cell phone, through e-mail, iRiver, Zune, TiVo, and soon on Internet radio—this show can be grabbed in dozens of ways, and I’ll try to clarify what subscribing really means and how one can get easy access to this show.
You can reach us at:
-find T-shirts, hats, coffe mugs and more through the website or at www.cafepress.com/doublebass
-voicemail line 206-666-6509
Find all of our old shows at www.contrabassconversations.com
Stay tuned next week for our interview with Francois Rabbath, and we’ll see you then for more life on the low end of the spectrum.