SAN FRANCISCO, July 21 – Edward Stephan has been appointed principal timpani of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), beginning with the opening of the 2016-17 season. Stephan is currently principal timpani of the Pittsburgh Symphony, a position he has held since 2011. He was previously principal timpani of the Dallas Symphony from 2009 to 2011 and the Fort Worth Symphony from 2001 to 2009. While in Texas, he appeared twice as soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony and was awarded the American Airlines Distinguished Musician Award in 2006. "Ed is a remarkable virtuoso and musician,” stated Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. “We all look forward to the exciting contributions he will make to our orchestra."
Edward Stephan began his percussion training at the age of six. He holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of North Texas and a master of music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. While living in Boston, Mr. Stephan performed with the Boston Symphony, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony, and the National Lyric Opera. He was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2000 and 2001. He can be heard on numerous recordings with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Dallas Symphony, and North Texas Wind Symphony.
In recent years, Stephan has performed with the Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Aspen Festival Orchestra, and the Dallas Opera Orchestra. He has served as principal timpani of the Crested Butte Summer Music Festival and is currently timpanist of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Stephan is in demand as a teacher and clinician. He presents regular masterclasses throughout North America, Europe, and Asia at many of the world’s most prestigious conservatories, universities, and festivals. He is a co-host and presenter of the annual Washburgh Timpani Seminar, has served on faculty at the Aspen Music Festival, and currently serves as chair of the percussion department at Duquesne University. Mr. Stephan proudly endorses Adams timpani, Pearl percussion products, Remo percussion products, Luft Timpani Mallets, and Mike Balter mallets.