Guido Rückel joined the Munich Philharmonic
as principal timpanist in 1997.
My thoughts about being a timpanist
Being a timpani player means to be present in musical
and physical way, being always noticed by every member
of the audience and the ensemble, being responsible
for finding the correct balance, the perfect rhythm,
the best sound color, the appropriate choice of which
kind of timpani and sticks are required…
Being a timpani player means to be a soloist in the
orchestra while downsizing your ego to a team player,
rather being wrong together with the others than being
right the only one, helping anybody else if your help
Being a timpani player means to be the second conductor,
to produce more sound colors than anybody else, being
able to be the softest … and the loudest, sitting on
top of the orchestra … it's simply the best job in the
Guido Rückel was born in 1971 in Düsseldorf and grew
up in Berlin, Germany.
He attended the College of Arts in Berlin (teachers
Thomas Lutz and Hans Ulrich), and continued his studies
as an apprentice with the Berliner Sinfoniker.
The concert season 1996/97 he was awarded a stipend
for the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic,
his teachers at that time where Rainer Seegers and Franz
In 1997 he became principal timpanist of the munich
Philharmonic under James Levine. He also performed with
the Bayerische Staaatsoper, Bavarian Radio Orchestra,
Hessen Radio Symphony Orchestra, North German Radio
Philharmonic, Super World Orchestra (Japan), Philharmonica
Arturo Toscanini (Italy) and more.
Guido Rückel worked, among others, with Lorin Maazel,
Zubin Mehta, Mariss Jansons, Christian Thielemann, Riccardo
Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kent Nagano and Franz Welser-Möst.
Guido Rückel is also working for the Schleswig Holstein
Musik Festival, teaching in the university of Augsburg
and is giving masterclasses focused on Beethoven, Bruckner,
Brahms and Mahler.
Hardtke Berlin Classic with classic
heavier bowls. Five sizes in cm: 78-72-65-65-60 cm
(31" 28" 25,5" 25,5" 23,5")
Why I play Hardtke Timpani
For my opinion timpani by Wolfgang Hardtke
are simply the best instruments build nowadays. Grown
up in Berlin, the timpani-sound of this city always
was the sound of Günther Ringer-timps, and Wolfgang's
instruments are the only ones coming close to this sound
of the so called “romanische Orchesterpauke".
I am playing Hardtke timpani since 2006,
the sound and the high class workmanship are inimitable.
The rich soundcolor, resonant volume and enormous range
of each timpani enthuses me every day
Mallets I am playing: Breier, Kato,
Kappert, Miyazaki, Rosenthal and Weisserth, Bamboo shaft.
I am playing on Kalfo heads all the
time, only on open air concerts I am using Renaissance