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Tom Freer
Tom Freer
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: Cleveland Orchestra
  • School / Univ. / Institution: Cleveland State University Department of Music
  • Country: United States

Tom is one of the driving forces in today's percussion/timpani performance and education scene. A former student of Jim Atwood and Mario Gaetano, Tom attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying under greats Cloyd Duff, Paul Yancich, and Richard Weiner.

He graduated in 1986, but during his school years he had played in the band Exotic Birds with Pittsburgh Symphony timpanist Tim Adams (also a Zildjian Artist), Andy Kubiszewski (Stabbing Westward), and Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). The band toured with Culture Club and opened for such major acts of the day as The Thompson Twins, Psychedelic Furs, Paul Young, Modern English, and others.

After graduation, Tom accepted a position as principal percussionist and assistant timpanist of the Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden, then moved on to become principal timpanist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic for two seasons and principal timpanist of the Alabama Symphony for the following two seasons. He then settled in with the Cleveland Orchestra as assistant principal timpanist and section percussionist, where he has remained since 1991.

He's a frequent clinician and guest artist, and is Coordinator of Timpani and Percussion studies at Cleveland State University. Tom can be heard on over twenty recordings with the Cleveland Orchestra on the London/Decca and Deutsche Grammophon labels.

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