A native of Amsterdam, Holland, percussionist Frank Epstein came to the United States in 1952, settling in Hollywood, California. A graduate of the University of Southern California, the New England Conservatory, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Having joined the Boston Symphony in 1968, he is now in his 33rd season as percussionist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Epstein is a member of the faculty at the Tanglewood Music Center and the New England Conservatory, where he also founded and directs the NEC Percussion Ensemble and is Chairman, Brass and Percussion Department.
Mr. Epstein has made recordings with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, and the Boston Pops, as well as with Collage New Music. As Founder of Collage, and Music Director from its inception in 1972 through 1991, Mr. Epstein has overseen the commissioning and performance of over 200 new works written especially for the ensemble as well as the production of 17 recordings.
Mr. Epstein is involved with the Avedis Zildjian Company as a consultant on new product development (including the introduction of the Classic Orchestral Cymbal Selection), and as a clinician, conducting workshops and seminars throughout the country. Before joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra he was a member of the San Antonio Symphony. Mr. Epstein was recently awarded a Presidential Commendation from the New England Conservatory for his work with Collage New Music. Mr. Epstein is also responsible for introducing the Symphonic Castanet to the market place. In more recent years his Cymbelt (bass drum/ cymbal attachment system) has been introduced. He also created a new practical performing version of the percussion part to Stravinsky's "L'histoire Du Soldat." "Personant Hodie,” a theater piece for two cymbal players, is now available from the composer.
Mr. Epstein holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of Southern California and a master of music degree from New England Conservatory. His teachers included Robert Sonner, Earl Hatch, Murray Spivack, William Kraft, and Everett Firth.