Associate Principal Timpani, Associate Principal Percussion
Jason Arkis joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1992 as associate principal timpani and associate principal percussion, after a seven-year tenure as principal percussion of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. From October 2015 through December 2018 he served as acting principal timpani. Along with his percussion section colleagues, in May 2008 he was featured in performances of Carmen Suite, an orchestration by Shchedrin of themes from Bizet’s Carmen. He also performed the world premiere of Michael Daugherty's Lounge Lizards for Two Pianos and Percussion, a Minnesota Orchestra commission, in 1994 and Bartók's Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion in 1998.
In addition to playing in chamber ensembles at several Sommerfest concerts, Arkis has often been a member of Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra Kinder Konzert ensembles.
Arkis earned a degree from the Juilliard School of Music in his native New York while studying with Saul Goodman, Buster Bailey and Roland Kohloff. While at Juilliard, he was a member of the Lincoln Center Percussion Quartet and the Juilliard Percussion Trio, playing concerts and leading educational activities in the greater tri-state area.
For one season he held the post of principal percussion with the Caracas Philharmonic in Venezuela. He has performed at festivals including Tanglewood, Colorado Music Festival, Waterloo and the first Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, under the leadership of Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson Thomas and Eiji Oue. He has also played with the Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, National, Houston and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras.
Arkis lives in St. Louis Park with his wife Kris, who is the Minnesota Orchestra's personnel manager, and their two children Ezra and Rachel.