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Duncan Patton was a Principal Timpanist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for over 30 years. With the Met, he performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as on tour in the U.S,, Europe, and Japan. He has been heard countless times on live HD movie performances, "Live from Lincoln Center" television programs, broadcast radio and digital transmissions, as well as CD recordings on major labels. He has appeared as a guest timpanist with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Canadian Brass, and Empire Brass, among others.


He has also been the primary timpani instructor at the Manhattan School of Music for over 30 years. Many of his students have gone on to careers with major orchestras in North America, as well as Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He is the author of the acclaimed technique and etude book The Artist Timpanist, and has written several solo pieces and collections. He has presented masterclasses at universities around the world, and at percussion events including the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. His articles on timpani performance have been published in Percussive Notes magazine.


"For me, the study of the timpani begins with sound. We explore first how to create the ideal tone and maximum resonance on the instrument, and then go on to develop a whole vocabulary of sounds to apply to any musical situation. The further development of technique and musicianship is done through the lens of a constant focus on the quality of sound produced."

Duncan Patton

Prior to joining the Met, Mr. Patton served as Principal Timpanist of the Honolulu Symphony, and for two summers with the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado. A native of the Albany, New York, area, he is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. His teachers included John Beck, Roland Kohloff, and Richard Albagli. He is a Pearl/Adams artist.

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