Yana Krichevsky

Principal Timpanist of the Haifa Symphony Orchestra (HSO) since 2011.

Yana Krichevsky - Haifa Symphony Orchestra

My thoughts about being a timpanist

A Timpani player is one of the most important leaders of a symphonic orchestra.

He can elevate the orchestra, though he can also ruin the music entirely.

This type of role carries a great amount of responsibility – especially since the orchestral repertoire varies between many different styles and genres.

A fine player should know how to produce a sound from a simple drum that fits the particular style desired and pick the correct pair of mallets that will serve them to that purpose.

That kind of skill can only be acquired through experience, and personal sense and taste, since it has no clear-cut rules or instructions.

The timpanist sits behind the entire orchestra – in the furthest place from the audience, but each sound they produce from the drum – down to the quietest piano – should be heard by everybody. The distance between the Timpani and the listeners is significant compared to the close interaction.

The timpanist, though ultimately playing percussion, should perform not only a rhythmic, but a musical role, and be acquainted with the rest of the orchestral roles while playing, so that the music can come together like a puzzle.

It is a very challenging position to be at since it demands a lot of responsibility and although there’s nobody to back you up in case you mess up, the pressure and the adrenaline are certainly rewarding.

A great timpanist is the anchorman of the orchestra!




My father was a violinist while living in Ukraine in the former USSR, and I began my percussion musical education at age 3.

I went on to study in the local conservatory and was part of the IDF orchestra during my service.

At the same time, I was admitted to the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, and afterward to the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv.

Immediately following that, I was accepted as a percussionist to the HSO (Haifa Symphony Orchestra).

Several years ago, I won the audition for principal timpanist in the same orchestra.

I freelance and play in most orchestras in the country, such as IPO, ISO, JSO, and so on.

Additionally, I was invited to play in several programs at the Suzhou Orchestra in China.

I performed with world-renowned conductors such as Yoel Levi, Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Mendi Rodan, Kirill Petrenko, and more.

I also studied with Dan Moshayev, the principal timpanist of the IPO, and with the Berliner Philharmoniker, timpanist Wieland Welzel.

My Timpani

  • Hardtke Berlin classics – Model 81-74-66-62-56 cm
  • a set of Adams Philharmonic

Why I play Hardtke Timpani

The only orchestra that purchased this instrument in Israel was the IPO, several years ago.

When I first heard it, I fell in love with its deep and soft sound, from which all of the dynamics can be easily and accurately produced – from the PPP through FFF.

Each drum has a very large range and every pitch in each drum sounds very precise… in all of the dynamics!

The appearance of the instrument was also particularly lovely.

The idea of buying that instrument for our orchestra sprang into my head right away, so we contacted Mr. Hardtke, and the service we received from him was very quick, personal and friendly!

I enjoy playing this instrument every rehearsal and concert time and time again, and each time it just sounds better than the last!



My Mallets

  • Akihiro Kato
  • Bart Jansen
  • Christoph Nunchert
  • Playwood
  • Helmuth Funke

Timpani Heads

Renaissance heads in all of the sets. Haifa is a city that is located on a relatively high elevation and by the coast, so the humidity is pretty high most of the year, often over 60%, so Kalfo heads might crack as a result of the rapid humidity changes, and become out of tune quite fast.


Players of the Haifa Symphony Orchestra