The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) today announces the appointment of Ed Stephan to its percussion faculty. Stephan—currently principal timpanist of the San Francisco Symphony—joins fellow SFCM percussion faculty members Jack Van Geem, Jacob Nissly, and James Lee Wyatt and will begin accepting students in Fall 2018.
“The addition of Ed Stephan to our faculty builds upon a great legacy of innovative and committed teaching in percussion at SFCM,” says SFCM Provost and Dean Kate Sheeran. “Ed’s years of experience as a much-sought-after pedagogue are an asset to our program. The combined wealth of knowledge and performance experience among our four faculty percussionists is truly awe inspiring.”
“I have learned so much from teaching over the years, and have found great joy in helping to steer young, aspiring professionals down a path toward the best versions of themselves,” says Stephan. “It is an honor to join the distinguished percussion faculty at SFCM, and to have the opportunity to continue my work as a teacher at this great institution, in this iconic city!”
Principal Timpanist of the San Francisco Symphony since 2016, 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.” Stephan has also held tenured principal timpani positions with the Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Fort Worth symphony orchestras. While in Texas, he made numerous solo appearances and was a recipient of the American Airlines Distinguished Musician Award.
Stephan began his percussion training at the age of six. He holds a bachelor of music from the University of North Texas and a master of music from the New England Conservatory of Music. He was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2000 and 2001. During his time in Boston, Stephan performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Rhode Island Philharmonic, and New Haven Symphony.
In recent years, Stephan has appeared as a guest with the Chicago Symphony, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, and 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 and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. He has recorded extensively and can be heard on a number of Grammy-nominated and award-winning albums.
Stephan is in demand as a teacher and clinician. He presents regular master classes throughout North America, Europe, and Asia at many of the world’s most prestigious conservatories, universities, and festivals. He is a co-presenter of the annual Washburgh Timpani Seminar and is on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival and School. In addition to his faculty appointment at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stephan serves as chair of the percussion department at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and makes regular visits to Northwestern University. He proudly endorses Adams timpani, Pearl percussion products, Remo percussion products, Luft Timpani Mallets, and Mike Balter mallets.