Double bassist Bruce Ridge has been a member of the North Carolina Symphony since 1987. He began his professional career when he joined the Virginia Symphony at the age of 15. Ridge later studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music, where he graduated with Distinction in Performance honors. He has performed at Tanglewood, Interlochen, the Grand Teton Festival, and with the orchestras of Charleston (SC), Jacksonville, and Honolulu.
Believed to be just the second musician from an ICSOM orchestra to chair a music director search, Ridge led the committee that brought Grant Llewellyn to the North Carolina Symphony. He has served as chair of the North Carolina Symphony Players' Association, on grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, and as a member of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission.
As chairman of ICSOM, Ridge has been an international leader on issues affecting arts organizations and has met with countless orchestras across America, literally from San Juan to Honolulu. He has served as a faculty member for many sessions of the League of American Orchestras' Orchestra Leadership Academy as well as on the faculty for the League's music director search seminars. He has appeared as a guest speaker on the history of symphony orchestras in America at The Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles and Roosevelt University in Chicago.
In 2008, Ridge was invited by the Federation International des Musiciens to address the first International Orchestra Conference in Berlin, Germany. In March of 2009, he was invited to testify before Congress during a hearing on the Economic and Employment Impact of the Arts and Music Industry (click to view testimony on YouTube). Ridge's speeches and articles have been published in numerous countries, and he has been quoted in newspapers across the United States, as well as in the American Foreign Press.
Ridge's double bass teachers include Lawrence Wolfe of the Boston Symphony, and the late Roger Scott of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He also performs on the bass guitar and solo jazz bass for the North Carolina Symphony's Pops series.