Bassist George Speed enjoys a career that combines teaching with solo, chamber, and orchestral performing. He is Associate Professor of Double Bass at Oklahoma State University and Principal Bass of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
In the orchestral sphere, from 2001-2003 Mr. Speed held a tenured position with the now-defunct Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2005, he was appointed Principal Bass with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Since 1999, Mr. Speed has also performed regularly with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, including 26 domestic and 3 international tours, and nationally televised events including 12 Independence Day concerts and a performance at Super Bowl XXXVI. He has also performed with the Boston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Handel and Haydn Society, and Boston Classical Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Mr. Speed has performed with the Oklahoma City-based ensemble Brightmusic since 2005.
A devoted educator, Mr. Speed received the 2009 Wise-Diggs-Berry Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts at Oklahoma State University. In 2005, he was a co-founder of the Oklahoma Bass Bash, a summer clinic for Oklahoma pre-college bassists. The Bass Bash, now in its eleventh year, is a thriving collaborative effort between OSU and the University of Oklahoma. In 2016, Mr. Speed will join the faculty of the Brevard Music Center. From 2011-2015, he served as a guest faculty member at the Eastern Music Festival.
A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Mr. Speed earned his Bachelor of Music Degree, summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music, and his Master of Music Degree from Boston University. Additional studies include two summers at both the Aspen Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Center. His principal teachers have been Edwin Barker, Edgar Meyer, and William Scott.