Guy du Blêt

Principal Timpanist of Orchestra Victoria/The Australian Ballet

Timpanist Guy du Blêt

My thoughts about being a timpanist

What do I love about playing the timpani?….. I love the mystery, and the colour and the hidden gems waiting for the special moment to really really play so softly that you can feel the theatre hold its breath…..time stands still and we wait for what happens next together….a special feeling that only happens then… ‘that’ moment.


Guy du Blêt joined Orchestra Victoria in 1998. He has been playing as Principal Timpani since 2005 and has also been Solo Timpani in the Opera Australia Ring Cycle productions in 2013 and 2016. He has played with the Sydney and Melbourne, West Australian, Tasmanian and Queensland

Symphony Orchestras, the Australian Opera Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan. He has toured throughout Asia and Europe and is a student of Rainer Seegers from the Berliner Philharmoniker.

My Timpani

Berlin Classic in six sizes:

  • American configuration 81/78/72/64/68/52 cm.
  • Berlin 1 mm polished bowls no coating.
  • Berlin ‘Taxi’ colour with gold pinstripes.
  • Chrome hoops.
  • Brass indicators in German with black letters.
  • Berlin pedals with small toe-guard.
  • Bartholme fine tuning handle.
  • Stage screws no wheels.
  • Graded Kalfo vellums.
  • Blond covers.

Dresden drums in four sizes:

  • German configuration 76/68/62/56 cm.
  • Dresden Leopard .8mm bowls no coating.
  • ‘Flame’ red frame with gold pinstripes.
  • ‘Flame’ red countertops with gold pinstripes.
  • Brass indicators in German with white letters.
  • Bartholme fine tuning handle.
  • Berlin pedals with small toe-guards.
  • Stage screws no wheels.
  • Graded Kalfo vellums.
  • Blond covers.

Why Hardtke Timpani?

My Hardtke Berlin Classic Timpani give me the ability to play from the low C to a high C across six drums so I can mix and match to cover a huge range of colours and repertoire. Being a modern player I’m always drawn to the nature of the music and when it is from. What was Wagner hearing and imagining in his mind when he kills Fasolt in Das Rheingold?……does it matter? Yes it does….not because it should be the same….but because we have to connect our instrument to all the other instruments for the composer’s voice to come through – these instruments make this possible.

Our Dresden drums are my love affair with history. It is here that so many of the great ideas we use today have come from. The thinner bowl…..the heavy frame…..really glueing the drum to the floor….everything old is new again. Plus….when they say yes, have any colour you like…..why wouldn’t you choose fire-engine red…..I mean…..why not?! The ‘red leopard’ bowl is the icing on the cake.

My Mallets

  • Kato
  • Rosenthal (the elder)
  • Rosenthal (the younger)
  • Offelder
  • Jansen
  • Kappert
  • Bauer
  • Breier
  • Kaufmann
  • Brückner