Joshua Thrush, 14, from Vienna, recently won first place in the Age 14 and Under division of the 2021 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition. The biennial convention of the International Society of Bassists is the premier double bass gathering, with its performance competitions drawing competitors from countries all over the world. The competitors must play a required piece and then have the remainder of 15 minutes to perform a diverse program. In addition to the required piece, Joshua played Capriccio from David Anderson’s Four Short Pieces, the Allemande from Bach’s First Cello Suite, and the first movement of the Dittersdorf Bass Concerto.
Joshua has been playing the bass for nearly five years, beginning private lessons with Ira Gold of the National Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2016 after having previously played clarinet, saxophone, and even, briefly, the cello. Joshua is currently a Youth Fellow with the National Symphony Orchestra and a member of the American Youth Symphonic Orchestra (AYSO), a division of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras program (AYPO) for which he’s played for the past four years. In 2021, Joshua won the AYSO Solo Competition, the Rockville Music Competition Intermediate Strings division, and was chosen as a Bass Alternate for the National Youth Orchestra 2 (NYO2). In 2020, Joshua was given the title of Principal Bass of northern Virginia’s Junior District X Honors Orchestra and was accepted into the Fairfax Symphony’s All-Stars Youth Orchestra program. As part of winning the Aspiring category and the Misbin Family New Talent Award in the 2019 Joseph and Goldie Feder Memorial String Competition, Joshua performed the first movement of the Dragonetti Concerto in a recital at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In that same year, he received the distinction of highest score in the Junior Division of the George Mason Academy Honors Recital.
Joshua has performed in master classes for Paul Ellison and Francois Rabbath and has attended various workshops including ISB Young Bassists 2019, KC Bass, and Bass Works. This summer, after attending the virtual ISB Young Bassists 2021, he plans on playing with the Birch Creek Symphony in Egg Harbor, Wis. and in the National Philharmonic Summer Strings program. Outside of playing the bass, Joshua enjoys boating, fishing, and discussing the stock market. Joshua looks forward to starting James Madison High School in the fall and to having more opportunities to grow and develop his skill on the double bass.