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. 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 numerous recordings with the North Texas Wind Symphony, as well as the FWSO, DSO and Pittsburgh Symphony. While living in Boston, Stephan performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 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.
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 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. He is a co-host and presenter of the annual Washburgh Timpani Seminar 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.