Ian Mertes

Cushing, OK

The Colburn School, Professional Studies Certificate, 2024
University of Colorado Boulder, Master of Music, 2021
Oklahoma State University, Bachelor of Music Education, 2019

Ian Mertes, a trumpeter based in Los Angeles, California, regularly plays with the Colorado Symphony and has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. During the 2020 and 2021 seasons, he was a fellow at the Music Academy of the West, and he has won several competitions, including The International Trumpet Guild’s Orchestral Excerpts Competition and The National Trumpet Competition. His teachers include James Wilt, Ryan Gardner, and Justin Bartels.

What is something interesting that people may not know about you?
Before pursuing music professionally, I wanted to be an aerospace engineer like my maternal grandfather, Nick. I was totally set on it until one day during my junior year of high school. In a conversation, he convinced me that I should at least attempt a musical career instead. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have continued music nor experienced all the places music has taken me. I do still have a deep love for the sciences though and love learning about new inventions and technological breakthroughs.

Name three of your favorite composers:
Aaron Copland, Gustav Mahler, and Dmitri Shostakovich

When taking a break from music-making, what is your favorite thing to do?
I love visiting science museums and art galleries. It’s amazing to see what others have created and achieved.

What are you most looking forward to this summer with the NRO?
I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the orchestral repertoire by playing many great pieces with a fantastic orchestra. I’m also looking forward to making lifelong friends and colleagues over the summer.