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Cumberland, Alan (2nd September 1945-4th December 2016)

He was pianist, violinist, percussionist and author born in England.  When he was young he began studying the violin and piano and when he became a teenager he decided to concentrate on studying percussion.

He made his career as a percussionist and appeared and recorded with the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble on their Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition as well as becoming a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he was Principal Timpanist for 20 years and on the Board of Directors for 9 years.

Working with the cream of musicians and conductors over the course of his career he worked with artists and composers such as Aaron Copland, Benjamin Britten , Sir Colin Davis, Raphael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Andre Previn, Zubin Mehta, Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhalk Perlman, Arthur Rubinstein, Luciano Pavarotti, Kiri te Kanawa , Alfred Brendel and Vladimir Ashkenazy among numerous others.

In the field of education he entered the Royal College of Music in 1970 to become a Professor of Timpani and this led to him being made an examiner for Trinity College, London, and other Royal educational establishments.  He would also hold international masterclasses in many countries throughout the world.

In 1987 he relocated to Australia as a Senior Lecturer of Timpani and Percussion and Principal of the Young Conservatorium at the Queensland Conservatorium, and the Conductor of the Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra.  At the same time he would conduct the Queensland Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras.

In 1996 he performed in Bangkok as the principal timpanist of the World Philharmonic Orchestra by invitation, and went back several times to coach members of the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and give masterclasses.  In 1998 he became the Head of Woodwind, Brass and Percussion and Resident Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.

In 2004 he published the trilogy of books 20 Graduated Studies for Timpani, Two Challenges for Timpani and 11 Graduated Studies for Snare Drum.

He passed away in December 2016 when he was 71 years old.

Here is explaining about timpani…