Ira Gold joined the National Symphony in 2005. 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 later, while a student at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, became serious about pursuing a career in music. 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. 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 American orchestras, as section bass with the Minnesota Orchestra and as guest 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 master classes and recitals at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, James Madison University, The Chautauqua Music Festival, and the University of Maryland School of Music.
In addition to his position with the NSO, Mr. Gold is a member of the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, and has performed with the Fessenden Ensemble, National Gallery of Art Orchestra, and the 21st Century Consort.