Brian Timothy Powell

Associate Professor

(305) 284-6227
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About Me


“My entire career has been devoted to the art of teaching as well as the art of performance. Students who study with me at the FROST SCHOOL OF MUSIC do not commit to a predetermined method of teaching, but are part of a challenging and nurturing bass program that is tailored to their career goals, their technical and repertoire experience, their learning style, and other important individual considerations. We create a learning environment that allows every student to reach their fullest potential with confidence and a continued love for music and sharing it with others.”


Brian Powell is associate professor of Double Bass and String Music Education at the FROST SCHOOL OF MUSIC. He is a former member of The New World Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. He has also performed with the Louisville Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Florida Philharmonic, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he received recognition in several solo competitions, including his win at the Aspen Music Festival Double Bass Solo Competition.

As an educator, Dr. Powell is the former director of orchestras at Eastern High School in Louisville, Kentucky and a member of the string faculty at Bellarmine University as double bass instructor. He taught hundreds of string students every year, from elementary school to collegiate levels. His high school orchestra was selected to perform at state conventions on multiple occasions and performed twice at the United Nations. In addition, he received recognition as a distinguished music teacher and advocate of string music education.

Dr. Powell has extensive experience building large advanced orchestra programs at the elementary and secondary school levels. He also created new string programs in public schools with the support of the FROST SCHOOL OF MUSIC. Dr. Powell’s bass and music education students have earned full time employment at universities and professional orchestras and have been responsible for directing numerous school and youth orchestra programs. His young bass students have won honors orchestra principal positions numerous times at the state and national level, as well as in international solo competitions.

Dr, Powell holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance and a Masters degree in Teaching from Indiana University. He completed his doctoral studies at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He previously served as President of the Kentucky and Florida chapters of the American String Teachers Association and participated in the mentor program of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Dr. Powell remains an active performer, adjudicator, and clinician throughout the world.


Honors & Acknowledgements

Professional Experience

Career Highlights

  • Published his first solo work for double bass for Igor Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne.
  • Performed under the direction of John Adams, James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Nicholas McGegan, David Robertson, Uriel Segal, Michael Stern, Robert Spano, David Zinman, Gunther Schuller, and Michael Tilson Thomas, among many others
  • Former principal bassist with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas and several guest conductors of international acclaim
  • Performed as a section bassist with the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Louisville Orchestra
  • Performed at universities throughout the United States and abroad, as well as at several conventions, the International Society of Bassists included
  • An active bass clinician, he gave a masterclass at the 2016 American String Teachers National Convention
  • Active guest All-State and All-County Honors orchestra conductor for both Middle and High School throughout the United States 

Honors, Awards and Competitions

  • Has won or been a finalist in numerous solo competitions, as well as for section and principal bass positions for major symphony orchestras
  • His high school orchestra was selected to perform at state conventions on multiple occasions and performed twice at the United Nations
  • Received recognition as a distinguished music teacher and advocate of string music education


  • Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne for Double Bass and Piano; Boosey & Hawkes*
  • Interviewed for Strad magazine on The Role of Skype in Music Education, January 2013 edition.
  • Song of the Black Swan for Double Bass and Piano, Villa-Lobos, Heitor and Brian Powell (Arr.), St. Francis Music Publications; July 2012; 14 pages.