Markus Rhoten joined the New York Philharmonic as
Principal Timpani in September 2006.
My thoughts about being a timpanist
Being a timpanist in an orchestra combines the best
of all worlds. You set a foundation in both rhythm and
time but the distinct voice of this beautiful instrument
also has in immense impact on the overall sound of the
orchestra. The timpani is one of the instruments that
has the largest dynamic range. This creates a huge responsibility
for the player to either lead the musical phrasing dynamically
or to match the dynamic according to the players around
you. Many people have referred to the timpani as "the
second conductor" or "the backbone of the orchestra".
Usually located at the back of the stage one of the
challenges is to anticipate the beat enough to compensate
for the distance. Another would be the constant change
in pitch which especially for calf head players can
be tricky under extreme weather conditions. I feel immensely
blessed have the opportunity to life out my passion
on a daily basis!
Born in 1978 in Hanover, Germany, Mr. Rhoten attended
the College of Arts in Berlin, and continued his studies
as an apprentice with the National Opera Orchestra Mannheim.
Subsequently, he was awarded a stipend for the Academy
of the Bavarian Radio Orchestra in Munich, and in 2002
became principal timpanist of the Bavarian Radio Orchestra
under Lorin Maazel. He has also worked with conductors
Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Franz
Welser-MŲst, Valery Gergiev, Christoph von DohnŠnyi,
and Charles Dutoit, among others. Mr. Rhoten has performed
with the Hessen Radio Symphony Orchestra; Zurich Opera
Orchestra; North German Radio Philharmonic; Lower Saxony
State Opera Orchestra; and Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,
and can be heard on all of the Deutsche Grammophon recordings
with the New York Philharmonic made after September
Berlin Classic model with classic Berlin
style shaped, heavier bowls in eight sizes: 81-74-72-66-65-60-56-52
Why I play the Hardtke Timpani
My Hardtke timpani with it's Berlin
style shaped bowl produces the exact beautiful, warm,
rich, full sound I have always been striving for. In
a way the Hardtke combine the dark, full sound of
the Winkelmann Timpani I always loved and that special,
clear and sustaining sound of the Ringer Timpani.
I play mostly Hellmut Funke and Jochen
Brenner mallets. Most of these bamboo mallets have a
cork core with multiple variations of materials wrapped
around it over which a German felt is wrapped. I also
like to use Kato and Jens-Peter Kappert flannel, leather
and leather/flannel mallets. I am currently working
on a signature line with Malletech which will include
both bamboo shafted, German style cork core felt mallets
and the bamboo shafted flannel and leather mallet.
I play on calfo calf heads that I personally
tuck to my liking and according to weather conditions.
Generally, the lower two drums have a little bit thicker
head than the higher drums, just as you would see it
with the string instruments.