Jauvon Gilliam was named principal timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2009.
Since 2011, Jauvon regularly performs as guest principal timpanist of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He is also timpanist of the All-Star Orchestra, a made-for-PBS group comprised of players from orchestras across the United States.
Jauvon has previously performed with The Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, as well as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He was also timpanist of the Bear Valley Music Festival for three seasons.
Prior to his NSO appointment, Jauvon was timpanist of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for seven years. While in Winnipeg, he was also timpanist of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and, for a time, played drum set for the WSO pops series.
As an educator, Jauvon has taught clinics at universities and institutions across Canada and the United States, including the Interlochen Arts Academy, New World Symphony and at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He is currently Director of Percussion Studies/Artist-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, co-founder of the annual Washburgh Timpani Seminar and is a timpani coach for the National Youth Orchestra of the USA.
A native of Gary, Indiana, Jauvon began his musical career playing piano, winning his first national competition at age 11. He received a full scholarship in piano performance to attend Butler University, but later changed to full-time percussion study. He graduated with honors with a degree in Arts Administration and then continued his graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Jauvon received an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater in 2014.
Recently appointed Principal Timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Edward Stephan is recognized as one of the most exciting and diverse 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”. As a native of Pittsburgh, Ed returns to his hometown after serving as the Principal Timpanist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and, before that, Principal Timpanist of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. While in Texas, Ed appeared twice as soloist with the FWSO and was awarded the American Airlines Distinguished Musician Award in 2006.
Ed began his formal musical training at the age of 6. Among his earliest and most influential teachers were Stanley Leonard and John Soroka – both from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Ed received a Bachelor of Music degree with honors from the University of North Texas, and a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he was a student of Boston Symphony percussionist Will Hudgins and a recipient of the conservatory’s Outstanding Performer Scholarship. While living in Boston, Ed performed with many orchestras throughout New England, including the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony and the National Lyric Opera, among others. Mr. Stephan was twice awarded fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Center, as well as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany. Additionally, he has served as Principal Timpanist of the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado. As a chamber musician, Ed has had the opportunity to work with distinguished artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax and Gil Shaham, to name a few. Ed can be heard on recordings with the PSO, DSO and FWSO, as well as more than a dozen recordings with the North Texas Wind Symphony on the Grammy-nominated Klavier recording label. On two of the Klavier recordings Mr. Stephan is a featured soloist.
In addition to performing, Ed is a highly sought after teacher and clinician. In the Fall of 2011 he will join the faculty at Duquesne University. He has served on the faculty of the University of Texas at Arlington and proudly endorses Pearl/Adams concert percussion instruments. In addition to his timpani habit, Ed has a deep passion for cycling and bicycle racing. With numerous emergency room visits to his credit as well, Ed sometimes wonders if bike racing and timpani playing aren’t conflicting passions.