David Robertson is a native Californian, born and raised in Santa Monica, which made it easier for him to get to the L.A. Phil when he could. He remembers William Kraft as the Principal Timpani of that orchestra. Shannon Wood performs Kraft’s Timpani Concerto No. 2, “The Grand Encounter,” with the St. Louis Symphony this weekend, Robertson conducting.
On at least one occasion–see documentation above, ca. 1968-69–the young Robertson met Kraft when the timpanist moved to the podium to conduct. The caption reads: “Instructions From El Maestro. William Kraft, head of percussion section of Philharmonic, conducted Sunday’s concert for young people. He’s pointing out part of a score to Dave Robertson, who plays French horn in All-City Honor Orchestra, and Lisa Martin, who plays violin.”
Tuesday morning the special timpani rig for Kraft’s Timpani Concerto No. 2 was moved from Shannon Wood’s Grand Center studio to Powell Hall. The move of a total of 15 timpani–including nine tenor drums that hang from scaffolding–took a number of stage hands, an elevator that was just big enough, and a truck to get it all here. Here are pictures that Symphony staffer Zach Schimpf and I took to document the process.
Not long ago at the Kranzberg Arts Center Principal Timpani Shannon Wood gave a preview of his upcoming performance of Kraft’s Timpani Concerto No. 2, “The Grand Encounter,” which receives its St. Louis Symphony debut April 30-May 1.
For that preview concert a camera was positioned behind Wood, and here is one brief clip from it.
Monday night Principal Timpani Shannon Wood gave a solo preview of Kraft’s Timpani Concerto No. 2, “The Grand Encounter,” at the Kranzberg Center for the Arts as part of Symphony In The City.
Last Sunday night members of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, a wind ensemble from the St. Louis Symphony and Amy Kaiser performed Stravinsky’s Mass at Peace Lutheran Church as part of Symphony Where You Worship.
Last Thursday Claire “The Clown” Wedemeyer of Clowns on Call and Symphony First Violinist Angie Smart demonstrated how music mixed with comedy helps children heal at the Goldfarb School of Nursing, with students from Cote Brilliante Elementary looking on as part of a combined Symphony In Your College and SymphonyCares program.
Michael Gandlmayr of the Symphony Education Team visited Kellison Elementary today (Wednesday morning) to view classes preparing for the Link Up concerts on May 11. Michael is an alum of the Rockwood School District and ran into his first violin teacher, Darlene Lanser.
Shannon Wood arrived in his Frank Zappa T-shirt to talk about the William Kraft Timpani Concerto No. 2. Wood gives the St. Louis Symphony premiere of the piece April 30-May 1 at Powell Hall, David Robertson conducting.
My colleague Maureen Byrne came along with me to Shannon’s Grand Center studio and caught the action shot above with her magic phone. I’ll have a video of Shannon playing a bit of the concerto and talking about it next week.
Shannon told us that the Kraft Concerto No. 2 was commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and premiered in 2005. Also commissioned was the making of the nine tenor timpani, which you see hanging from above. Six regular timpani are set on the floor.