Hometown:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Member: 1992 - the year we went to Carnegie Hall

Ken Every says that his parents gave him a drum set to save their pots and pans.

What do you want patrons of the Symphony to know about you?
That luckily I don’t have to move the timpani. It takes about three grown men or women to lift one drum and the smallest drum is just as heavy as the largest. My drums are made in Holland, where they just returned from being overhauled. My sticks are made in Germany and need to be recovered every few seasons. They’re at their best when they begin to look like the hair on troll dolls.

Do you have any pre-concert rituals or routines?
I generally drink a good cup of coffee(unless I have a lot of exposed soft tremolos) I arrive at the hall an hour before the concert and warm up in the percussion room, which is right next to the Davis Lounge. I try not to play too loud because the patrons are in the Davis Lounge and Courtney is on stage at 7:00 presenting “Insight.”

What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional musician?
That’s a tough question because I’ve never really considered doing anything else.

What teacher, mentor or other influencer inspired you the most?
I’m inspired by the teachings of Eckhart Tolle who helps me stay grounded in a high pressure job. I have learned so much from watching the timpanists of the Berlin Philharmonic, and of course, I have to give credit to my former teacher, Paul Yancich, from the Cleveland Orchestra.

What do you do in your spare time?
I love to cook with my wife, Nidhi. We love reading and watching movies. We try to always eat together with our two kids. I have a subscription to the Digital Concert Hall where I watch Berlin Philharmonic concerts. We love to travel and we recently went to South Africa to visit Nidhi’s family. We’re busy with kid’s activities like dance and wrestling and are now busy getting our son ready to apply for college.

What has been your favorite moment on stage?
I think the most memorable moment has been playing the Bartok Piano Concerto with Lang Lang and Courtney last year. It has an amazing timpani part. Also, I was incredibly moved, performing Elgar’s “Dream of Gerontius,” a beautiful piece that Courtney introduced to Jacksonville last year. Oh, and I’ll never forget the magical moment last year, when we performed Hansel and Gretel during “Now I lay me down to sleep,” when those gigantic angel puppets appeared to come out of a very strange and fantastic dream!

If you have a pet(s), tell us about them?
We have the amazing Wilson, whose greatest talent is shedding. He’s an Aussie mix, but we call him an Australian shedding dog. We have a very good vacuum cleaner.

Who is your favorite composer?
I love the music of Robert Schumann, and am currently in a Bruckner phase. I am listening to a particular recording of Bruckner 7, with Celibidache’s return to Berlin.

Curtis Institute of Music, Bachelor’s Degree
Cleveland Institute of Music, Master’s Degree
New World Symphony Orchestra