Richard Barber, assistant principal bassist of the National Symphony, was born into a musical family, beginning piano studies at age seven and double bass at age nine. His decision to pursue music (and not science) as a career was made at age eighteen. That decision took him to Baltimore, where he studied with former National Symphony Orchestra principal bassist Harold Robinson, earning a bachelor of music degree in three years from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Winning his first audition two weeks after graduation, Mr. Barber moved to Arizona to join the Phoenix Symphony. After three seasons in Phoenix and two summers touring Europe with the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra, he joined the National Symphony Orchestra in 1995 as a section bassist, and was promoted to assistant principal in 1996. Since then he has been particularly active in the Orchestra’s chamber music and education programs. He also appears regularly at SAAM with the 21st Century Consort. He plays a double bass made ca. 1620 in Italy by the Brescian master Giovanni Paolo Maggini.