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Erich Rieppel

Principal Timpani, Dimitri Mitropoulos Chair

Erich Rieppel was named principal timpani of the Minnesota Orchestra in the fall of 2018. Prior to that, he held the same title at New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas in Miami Beach, Florida. Rieppel has performed as principal timpanist with the Seoul Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Detroit Symphony and New Jersey Symphony. He has held the posts of associate timpanist of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, substitute timpanist with the Louisville Orchestra and Charleston Symphony, and principal timpanist of the Terre Haute Symphony and the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. Since 2013, he has played timpani and percussion with the Lakes Area Music Festival in northern Minnesota.

At age 19, during a performance with the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, his playing caught the ears of a critic from the New York Times. He has also received acclaim in the Pioneer Press for a Minnesota Orchestra performance of Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony.

Believing in being a multi-faceted musician, Rieppel has experience in arts administration, college teaching, music librarianship, composition and conducting. He made his professional conducting debut with the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra in 2013 and returned in the spring of 2022 to conduct Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with his father, Dr. Daniel Rieppel, as soloist.  As a teacher, Rieppel has given masterclasses at Indiana University, the University of Minnesota, the Seoul Performing Arts Center, Sinfónica Azteca in México, the Ibera Academy in Medellin, Colombia, the University of Panama and the Hawaii Youth Symphony, to name a few. As a chamber musician, Rieppel co-founded 507 Collective, a piano/percussion quartet that includes his father.

A native of Minneapolis, Rieppel grew up near Marshall, Minnesota, and received early inspiration from his parents, both professional musicians. He attended Indiana University for his bachelor’s with a minor in conducting and master’s degrees where he studied a variety of percussion with John Tafoya, Kevin Bobo, Steve Houghton and Michael Spiro. He has also studied with Josef Gumpinger, David Herbert, Shannon Wood, Ed Stephan, Tom Freer and other artists of great influence. He spent one summer at the Aspen Music Festival and three winters at the New York String Orchestra Seminar. Rieppel proudly endorses Freer Percussion Products and Pearl/Adams percussion. In his free time, he plays hockey.

I have never been injured from playing hockey!”