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The Mind Over Finger Podcast

Oct 30, 2020

In this inspiring and motivating conversation, National Symphony double bass player Ira Gold shares his wisdom on practicing and on leading a meaningful musical life.

Ira expands on:

  • How the things he does are reflections of his passions
  • How serving the community and those who are following the artistic path has become vital part of his career
  • How his career grew out of him making the conscious decision of seriously dedicating himself to his musical education
  • The important of adopting a growth mindset and of being mindful of the information that is available to you and how you can apply it to nurture your long-term goals
  • The importance of being teachable
  • The new metrics he uses to define success
  • How the pandemic has allowed him to take a step back and reflect
  • Practicing strategies:
    • Constructing and deconstructing
    • Adding and subtracting
    • How to bring life experiences into your art – everything you experience and everything you are influences your playing
  • How to maximize your learning experience – in college and beyond





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Ira Gold made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2011, performing the Vanhal Bass Concerto with the Catholic University of America Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to joining the National Symphony in 2005, he 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 festivals such as Grand Teton Music Festival, Domaine Forget Music Academy, Bach Festival Leipzig, Aspen, and Tanglewood.  Mr. Gold spent several summers at the International Festival Institute at Round Top both as a student and faculty.  He is continually in demand for recitals and masterclasses, including recent visits at The Colburn School, University of Southern California, The Moscow State Conservatory, Boston University, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, University of Colorado (Boulder), The Juilliard School, Boston University Tanglewood Institute,  The International Society of Bassists Convention, and The Manhattan School of Music.   Mr. Gold maintains a studio of private students, has taught lessons and coached chamber music in the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship program, and has been a Double Bass Faculty member of Peabody Conservatory since 2009.  He is also a co-founding member of Peabody Bass Works, a one week bass camp held every July at Peabody Conservatory.

Mr. Gold has been interviewed multiple times by Jason Heath for the podcast Contrabass Conversations, and more recently as a featured guest on The Audition Breakthrough Summit, which launched in March 2017. In 2016 he published an article for the ISB’s journal Bass World, in which he discusses the qualities of teaching that affect the relationship of teacher and student.

An active chamber musician, Mr. Gold has performed with East Coast Chamber Orchestra, the NSO Millenium Stage Prelude Series, Peabody Conservatory Faculty, and the New Orchestra of Washington.

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.


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Most sincere thank you to composer Jim Stephenson who graciously provided the show’s musical theme!  Concerto #1 for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra – Movement 2: Allegro con Brio, performed by Jeffrey Work, trumpet, and the Lake Forest Symphony, conducted by Jim Stephenson.

Thank you to Susan Blackwell for the introduction!  You can find out more about Susan, her fantastic podcast The Spark File, and her work helping creatives of all backgrounds expand their impact by visiting

Also a HUGE thank you to my fantastic producer, Bella Kelly!