Don Liuzzi was born and raised in Weymouth, Massachusetts, and completed high school at the Franklin Learning Center in Philadelphia. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan and his Master of Music degree from Temple University. Before joining The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1989, Mr. Liuzzi was a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony percussion section from 1982 to 1989. While in Pittsburgh he taught percussion and conducted the percussion ensemble at Duquesne University, was Assistant Conductor of the Three Rivers Young People Orchestra, and appeared on PBS' nationally-syndicated "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood," performing marimba and percussion solos. Locally, Mr. Liuzzi has been a percussionist with the Network for New Music and has recorded contemporary chamber works for the CRI label. He has given master classes in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Argentina and most of Asia. For several seasons he has been a percussion and timpani coach at the National Orchestra Institute. He joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in January 1994.
In 1997, Don Liuzzi performed a master class at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Los Angeles. Yamaha worked to help him have timpani there and was excited to have Don Liuzzi perform on Yamaha drums for his masterclass. Then a conversation started about designing professional model timpani that he could use in the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as other orchestral settings. In 2001 and 2002, he came to Yamaha's headquarter in Hamamatsu, Japan three times to help with the process, giving his insight towards obtaining a beautiful and warm sound that would blend well with the Orchestra. Since then, Don Liuzzi has been happy with blend of Yamaha timpani with the Orchestra as well as other orchestral settings on a regular basis.
Other Percussion Artists
Guy Frisch began his musical studies at the Luxembourg Conservatory of Music before moving on to the Strasbourg Conservatory. Having completed his time at the Strasbourg Conservatory, Guy Frisch went on to study at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague where he passed the Master of Music degree. From then on, he has devoted his career to contemporary and improvised music and his musical repertoire includes works by Berio, Ferneyhough, Kagel, Lachenmann and Xenakis. In addition to this, Guy has also featured in creations by Campana, Donatoni, Dillon, Jarrell, Toeplitz, Matalon, Pauset, Mullenbach, Kerger, Reuter, among others. He has been actively involved in a number of projects with groups such as ö, Accroche Note, Le Quiproquo, and Bruits Défendus in France and with Alter Ego in Roma.
The French percussionist and marimba player, Jean Geoffroy, studied at at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris where he won first prize in percussion in 1985.
Recognized for their excellent musical skills and virtuoso performances, Axoum Duo is one of the most diverse groups representing a number of different styles in today`s music. Through their own musical language they perform a repertoire mostly consisting of compositions and arrangements written by Gabriel Collet, specifically for the duo. In addition to their concert activities, the duo writes soundtracks for documentaries and works with different musicians, singers, dancers and painters. Fully committed to contemporary music, they have made many first performances of new pieces, some of which have been dedicated to them.