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?
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. 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.
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.
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. 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. Oh, and I’ll never forget the magical moment 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!
What would you like to share about your pet(s)?
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