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Edward Stephan

Barbara Weldon Principal Timpani Chair
Principal timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2010, 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 Pittsburgh, Stephan held the position of principal timpanist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and before that the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. 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 and spent much of his youth studying many different styles of music before finally settling on orchestral studies in college. 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 can be heard on dozens of recordings with the North Texas Wind Symphony, as well as the FWSO, DSO and Pittsburgh Symphony. While a student in Boston, Stephan performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony and the National Lyric Opera, to name a few. He was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2000 and 2001.

In recent years, Stephan has appeared as a guest with the Chicago Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony and the Dallas Opera Orchestra. He has served as the principal timpanist of the Crested Butte Summer Music Festival.

Stephan also is in demand as a teacher and clinician. He has given master classes across the country, including the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Tanglewood Music Center and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He is a co-host and presenter at the annual Washburgh Timpani Seminar and currently serves as adjunct professor and chair of the percussion department at Duquesne University. Stephan proudly endorsed Adams timpani, Remo percussion products and Luft Mallets.