George Brown

George Brown's Biography

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, George Brown graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1971 and received his formal music training at the University of Louisville School of Music. While in college, he performed as percussionist with the Louisville Orchestra and the Lexington Philharmonic and studied privately with James Rago, Timpanist of the Louisville Orchestra.

After one year at U of L, George auditioned for the service, becoming Timpanist and Percussionist for the United States Coast Guard Band and later, for the U.S. Armed Forces Bicentennial Band where he performed in all fifty U.S. states as well as Canada, Mexico and the Eastern Caribbean. Following his tour of duty, the Pentagon cited George with the prestigious Joint Service Commendation Medal for his contribution to the Band's mission.

George returned to the University of Louisville in 1977, remaining there until 1980. During that time he actively participated in the Louisville Orchestra's contemporary music recording projects performing new works by George Crumb, Peter Maxwell Davies, Donald Erb, Jacob Druckman, George Antheil and others. In addition, he served as Principal Percussionist with the 202nd Army Band and taught percussion at the Music Preparatory Department of the University of Louisville.

In the spring of 1980, Brown was selected to become Timpanist and Head of the Percussion Section of the Orquta Sinfonica de Mineria, a Festival orchestra in Mexico City. That same year he won the Principal Timpani audition for the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra. George remained in both orchestras, commuting between the two posts until 1987. During this time, Brown also performed as Timpanist with the Mexico City Philharmonic, the Denver (now Colorado) Symphony, and the Sinfonietta ISSSTE. In addition to teaching percussion at Colorado College, he also continued his own instrumental studies with Cloyd Duff, Timpanist Emeritus of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Brown moved to Salt Lake City in 1987 upon being selected as Principal Timpanist for the Utah Symphony by former Music Director Joseph Silverstein. Since his arrival he has also performed with the Indianapolis Symphony, the Ballet West Orchestra, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Opera. Along with his performing duties, George is also an Adjunct Professor of Timpani at the University of Utah, and was Visiting Professor of Timpani and Percussion at Brigham Young University. He is also active as a clinician, lecturing at the University of Colorado, the University of New Mexico, Culver Military Academy and Utah State University, in addition to numerous clinics at the University of Utah and BYU.

Brown has recorded for the London/Decca, Sony Classics, EMI/Angel, Telarc, Argo, Harmonia Mundi, Nonesuch, New World, Pro Arte, Albany Records and the Louisville First Edition labels, and has performed on numerous band recordings produced by the Department of Defense. He also assisted in the creation of the Timpani FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on the World Wide Web, created by Dwight Thomas, Timpanist of the Omaha Symphony Orchestra.

George met his wife, best friend and soul mate, Shirley, via cyberspace in 1993, and the couple was married two years later. Together they enjoy computers, weight training & yoga, RVing, basketball and cooking. They have four children, Christopher, Leslie, Joshua and Jennifer.

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