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George Speed

Guest Musician

Bassist George Speed enjoys a career that combines teaching with solo, chamber, and orchestral performing. He is Assistant Professor of Double Bass at Florida State University and Principal Bass of the Tallahassee Symphony. Since 2016 Mr. Speed has served on the artist faculty of the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, North Carolina. Orchestral playing is central to Mr. Speed’s career. Currently Principal Bass of the Tallahassee Symphony, he previously served as Principal Bass of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic from 2005-2019. For 17 years Mr. Speed was a regular player with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, including numerous television broadcasts and domestic and international tours. He has also performed with the Boston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, and Naples Philharmonic, among others. Mr. Speed is also passionate about both chamber music and solo performance. From 2005-2019 he performed regularly with the Oklahoma City-based chamber ensemble Brightmusic. An active soloist, Mr. Speed released his debut album of Vivaldi cello sonata transcriptions in 2018 on Centaur Records. Recital Music has since published print editions of his transcriptions. In early 2023, Centaur released his second album, a collection of Classical Era solo works with pianist Heidi Louise Williams. A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Mr. Speed earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Vanderbilt University, and his Master of Music degree from Boston University. His principal teachers were Edwin Barker, Edgar Meyer, and Bill Scott. Mr. Speed plays on a late-19th century Neapolitan bass by Carlo Loveri.