The Bad Boyz of Double Bass Quartet has played for audiences throughout the county. Of their recent recording “Live,” Gramophone magazine wrote…Nothing. The New York Times has not written anything about them either. However, after their most recent performance, several audience members were heard to exclaim: “wow” and “…hmmm…that’s interesting” as well as “gee, I’m glad that was free!” As is typical of a group of their stature, they are really into themselves and that counts for something. They are also renowned for their interpretations of a particular composer, but no one is quite sure which one.
Kidding a side……
The Bad Boyz of Double Bass
The Bad Boyz of Double Bass is a bass quartet, the members being prominent bassists and college professors. They are David Murray (Butler University), Volkan Orhon (University of Iowa), Paul Sharpe (North Carolina School of the Arts) and Anthony Stoops (University of Oklahoma). Each has won awards in solo competitions and have presented performances throughout the US and abroad. As a quartet, the Bad Boyz have appeared at International Bass Society conventions in Kalamazoo, Oklahoma City, San Francisco, State College (PA), and at the Eastman School, as well as Wroclaw, Poland and Paris, France. They have been featured presenters at the American String Teachers Conventions in Atlanta in 2010 and 2012. They were the ensemble in residence at Butler University’s Bass Camp in June, 2013.
The quartet came together initially for a performance with bass virtuoso Gary Karr during Karr’s weekend residency at the University of Michigan in October, 2004. They have recorded a CD, “Bad Boyz Live!”
David Murray has an international reputation as a solo bassist and teacher. He is currently Professor of Bass at Butler University in Indianapolis and Principal Bassist of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He also plays as Principal Bassist with Sinfonia da Camera in Urbana, Illinois, and at the Bear Valley Music Festival in northern California. Before coming to Indianapolis, David was Instructor of Bass at West Texas A&M University. David’s first private teacher was bass virtuoso Gary Karr, with whom he studied in high-school and at the Hartt Music School in Connecticut. Summers were spent at Tanglewood and the Aspen Music Festival, where he worked with Stuart Sankey. In 1981 he won the Aspen concerto competition. In Los Angeles in1988 he won the International Society of Bassists (ISB) Solo Competition, the first prize being a solo debut at Carnegie Hall. David has performed as soloist and given clinics and masterclasses throughout the United States, Canada, South Korea, Brazil, Israel, Scotland, Poland, and Holland. In June, 2001, David hosted the ISB convention at Butler University for 800 bassists from 27 countries, and is currently Past-President of the ISB. He has recorded two solo CD’s and released a video of theater music in the spring of 2003. His CD, “Duetti Dolci”, a collection of duos, was released in 2007 with bassist Diana Gannett. His most recent CD contains sonatas by Franck and Shostakovitch. He is a member of the Bad Boys of Bass (Bass Quartet) which released a CD in the summer of 2007.
Volkan Orhon is associate professor of double bass at The University of Iowa and principal double bass with Orchestra Iowa. As a soloist, Orhon was a finalist and prizewinner in the Concert Artists Guild Solo Competition, placed first at the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition, and was the first bass player ever to win the grand prize at the American String Teacher’s Association Solo Competition. He has performed solo with orchestras including the Adana, Bursa (Turkey), El Paso and Hartford Symphony Orchestras, and wasone of the premiere soloists for the International consortium of Pulitzer Winner composer John Harbison’s Concerto for Bass Viol and Orchestra. In addition, Orhon was recently a featured soloist at the Polish World Bass Festival, performing the Bottesini Concerto No. 2 with the Academy Orchestra under the direction of Francesco Petracchi.
Mr. Orhon has performed with internationally recognized musicians including Gary Karr, Fazil Say, Emerson & Tokyo String Quartets. He has performed at festivals throughout the world, including the Montreux, Saint Denis‐Paris, Antibes, Montpellier, Istanbul, and Izmir jazz festivals. An orchestra musician as well, he has performed with the Detroit, Hartford, and Cedar Rapids Opera orchestras, and the Ankara Presidential Symphony in Turkey.
A highly sought‐after pedagogue, Mr. Orhon has presented master classes and recitals for the Ouro Branco Festival (Brazil), World Bass Festival (Paris), Suzuki of the Americas Biennial Conference, International Society of Bassists, Bursa State Conservatory (Turkey), Arizona State University, University of Michigan.
Paul Sharpe is the Artist-Teacher of Double Bass at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and is active internationally as an orchestral and chamber musician and as a soloist. During the summer he looks forward to teaching and performing at Orfeo Music Festival in the Italian Dolomites, the Colorado Suzuki Institute, and the Butler University Bass Camp with the Bad Boyz of Bass. In the past several years he has performed in recital and presented masterclasses at Brazil’s International Double Bass Encounter, France’s Bass2008, the World Bass Festival in Poland, many national and regional double bass symposiums, the Cleveland Institute, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, University of North Texas, and Interlochen Arts Academy. He has performed as soloist with the Anchorage Symphony, Orquestra de Camara Theatro Sao Pedro (Porto Allegre, Brazil), Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, and Aspen Young Artists Orchestra. In addition to the “Bad Boys of Double Bass,” he is the greater part (by volume) of the cello-bass duo with Brooks Whitehouse, Low and Lower. Low and Lower will debut a new double concerto with several orchestras in the 2014-2015 season, composed by Lawrence Dillon the composer of their YouTube hit – “Poke – a bagatelle on anti-social media.” On November 3, 2013, Low and Lower made their Discovery (Family) Concert Series debut with the Winston-Salem Symphony, a show that involved playing, singing, acting, and even dancing. Prior to his appointment at UNCSA, he was a tenured professor at Texas Tech University, adjunct faculty at University of North Texas, and an instructor at Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), and the Preucil School of Music. His principal teachers are Jeff Bradetich and Diana Gannett.
Dr. Anthony Stoops, associate professor of double bass at the University of Oklahoma School of Music, is an accomplished recitalist, orchestral and chamber musician and is widely regarded as one of the top bass soloists in the world today. He has played in many major orchestras including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Michigan Opera Theatre and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has performed throughout the United States and has received numerous awards for his musical excellence, including first prize at the International Society of Bassists International Solo Competition in 1995 and second prize in the 1994 American String Teacher’s National Solo Competition.
Stoops is an active musician currently performing with the Bad Boys of Bass Quartet, an ensemble for which he is a founding member and arranger, and the Bass Fiddle Trio, an ensemble that combines classical, bluegrass and jazz music with original compositions. His professional career has been replete with high-honor performances and projects, including serving as the bassist for Compassion, a special project with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He also has been a featured performer for the World Bass Festival in 2006 and a featured performer for the International Society of Bassists Conventions in 1997, 1999, 2003 and 2005.
Stoops earned his bachelor of music degree at the University of Iowa in 1997 and his master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees at the University of Michigan in 1999 and 2002, respectively. Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma School of Music, Stoops served on the music faculty of Bowling Green State University, Ann Arbor School for Performing Arts and the Preucil School of Music.