Elliot Beck, 2013 NRO Timpanist, recently won principal timpani spots with both the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra and the West Michigan Symphony, as well as a percussion spot with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Elliot went to University of Michigan for undergrad, master’s at Temple University, and completed the Performance Residency Program at Carnegie Mellon University. He has been freelancing in Pittsburgh since finishing at CMU a year ago.
Elliot shares his experience with the NRO, “Besides the excellent setting of working with Maestro Topliow, the various guest conductors, and a collection of the top young orchestral players, the NRO offers something unique to the aspiring timpanist. While I play both timpani and percussion, timpani are my favorite and NRO gave me an invaluable opportunity to focus solely on performing as a principal timpanist. NRO is unusual and valuable in this regard as most summer festivals rotate this position for each concert or piece and most orchestras have assistant timpanists, making subbing on timpani rare. The sheer number of hours and pieces I covered as the principal timpanist of NRO was unlike any other experience I have had. It was crucial to my development as an orchestral timpanist.”