Timpanist, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Recently appointed principal timpanist of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Ed Stephan is recognized as one of the most exciting and dynamic timpanists in the United States. He has been praised for his “strong and multi-faceted playing” as well as his “captivating command behind the instrument.” Prior to his appointment in San Francisco, Stephan held the position of principal timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 2011-2016. He was the principal timpanist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2011, and before that the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra from 2001-2009. While in Texas, he appeared twice as soloist with the FWSO and was awarded the American Airlines Distinguished Musician Award in 2006.
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. He was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2000 and 2001. He can be heard on numerous recordings with the Pittsburgh Symphony, as well as the FWSO, DSO and North Texas Wind Symphony—including a number of Grammy nominated performances. While living in Boston, Stephan performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony and the National Lyric Opera.
In recent years, Stephan has appeared as a guest with the Chicago Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, The Philharmonia Orchestra of London, the Kansas City Symphony, The Aspen Festival Orchestra and the Dallas Opera Orchestra. He has served as the principal timpanist of the Crested Butte Summer Music Festival and is currently timpanist of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Mr. 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, he is on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival, and currently serves as chair of the percussion department at Duquesne University. Ed proudly endorses Adams timpani, Pearl percussion products, Remo percussion products, Luft Timpani Mallets, and Mike Balter mallets.