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Head of Timpani and Percussion Neil Percy Dip RCM, ARCM, Hon RAM Principal Percussionist with the London Symphony Orchestra, who has worked closely with many artists and conductors including Pierre Boulez, André Previn, Elvis Costello and John Williams. As a soloist Neil has performed with Sir Colin Davis, Steve Reich, Pierre Boulez, Ravi Shankar, Francois Xavier Roth, Karl Jenkins, Kent Nagano and Elgar Howarth. He has given masterclasses in Europe, the USA and Asia, and has coached many leading youth orchestras. Head of Department since 2000.

The Timpani and Percussion Department has a worldwide reputation for its provision for students, and for its training in the multi-faceted world of timpani and percussion. The members of staff include principal players with London’s leading orchestras, international soloists, and leading session musicians, all of whom are active in music making of the highest professional standard.

Orchestral training on timpani and percussion instruments is high on the agenda, and the Academy’s range of orchestras and ensembles, together with its extensive collection of quality instruments and practice facilities, present outstanding opportunities for all students.

Timpani and Percussion lessons are complemented by regular faculty activities such as repertoire, performance classes and masterclasses, together with chamber music coaching for percussion ensembles and mallet groups. Areas of related study include classes in Latin American and ethnic percussion and drumset, emphasising rhythmic awareness and movement, in both solo and ensemble situations.

The Academy has an extensive provision for marimba and solo percussion. Regular masterclasses from many of the world’s leading solo percussion specialists offer excellent opportunities for the aspiring solo percussion student.

Our aim is to expose students to a variety of related study areas whilst not compromising standards. We hope to enable graduates to have full, rewarding and varied careers by providing them with the skills needed for their continual development. Employability is key to the ethos of the department.

Eminent soloists, orchestral principals and ensemble leaders are regular visitors to the Academy, and masterclasses have been given by Airto, Birger Sulsbruck, Evelyn Glennie, Oladum Ensemble (Brazil), Anthony Kerr, Christopher Lamb (Principal

Percussion, New York Philharmonic), Rainer Seegers (Principal Timpani, Berlin Philharmonic), Peter Erskine, Joe Locke, Marinus Komst (Principal Timpani, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Keiko Abe, Juanjo Guillem and David Friedman.

Other recent visitors have included She-e Wu, Peter Erskine, Steve Gadd, Bill Lockhart, Iain Pattinson, David Hockings and Makoto Nakura.

Students are eligible for the Academy’s annual Zildjian Cymbal Prizes. First prize is $2,000 and second prize is a visit to Zildjian International in the UK, to select cymbals of their choice.

The Royal Academy of Music is grateful for the generous support of Zildjian Cymbals and Yamaha-Kemble UK.

The Teachers Professors of Timpani

Simon Carrington GRSM, ARCM, Hon ARAM (Principal Timpani, London Philharmonic Orchestra) David Searcy (former Principal Timpani, La Scala Milan)

Professor of Baroque Timpani

Benedict Hoffnung ARAM (Principal Timpani, London Mozart Players)

Professors of Percussion Neil Percy Dip RCM, ARCM, Hon RAM (Principal Percussion, London Symphony Orchestra)

Stephen Quigley ARAM (Principal Percussion, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)

Andrew Barclay Hon ARAM (Co-principal Percussion, London Philharmonic Orchestra)

Professor of Solo Repertoire and Concerti Colin Currie FRAM (international soloist)

Professor of Marimba Eric Sammut Hon ARAM (international soloist)

Professors of Drum Set, Latin American and Ethnic Percussion

Paul Clarvis Hon ARAM (international soloist and recording artist)

David Hassell Hon ARAM (session musician and renowned clinician)

Department Administrator: Amy Gardner BMus Telephone 020 7873 7320 Email Open Day: 14th September 2011

> International Drum Set Consultant

Peter Erskine (international soloist and recording artist)

International Vibraphone Consultant Joe Locke (international soloist and recording artist)


2010–2011 Highlights Masterclasses given by Makoto Namura, Steve Gadd, Peter Erskine, Bill Lockhart, Nigel Bates, Rachel Gledhill, Iain Pattinson, David Hockings, Makoto Nakura, Joe Locke, She-e Wu and Evaristo Aguilar Latin Jazz Big Band concert featuring music from Cuba and Tito Puente involving all timpani and percussion students with Dave Hassell, Paul Clarvis and Nick Smart

Past Students

Dame Evelyn Glennie OBE (1985) International Soloist

Makoto Nakura (1993) International Soloist

Colin Currie (1998) International Soloist

Simon Lowdon (2002) Principal Percussion, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Chris Ridley (2002) Principal Timpani, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Mark Robinson (2005) Assistant Principal Timpani/Tutti Percussion, Sydney Symphony

Erika Ohman (2008) Assistant Principal Timpani, Hallé Orchestra

Academy percussion alumni perform regularly as orchestral and session players all over the world.

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