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
David Friedman, internationally renowned vibraphonist, marimbist, composer and jazz educator, has his own musical message, born of fascinatingly diverse musical influences. Few jazz musicians can claim as broad a spectrum of performing and recording experience, with such varied musical personalities as Leonard Bernstein, Luciano Berio, Bobby McFerrin, Wayne Shorter and Yoko Ono. The list doesn`t stop there. Friedman has been heard either live or on recordings with, among others, Joe Henderson, Horace Silver, Johnny Griffin, Jane Ira Bloom, Ron Carter and John Scofield. His compositions are featured on Chet Baker`s award winning Enja release, Peace, with bassist Buster Williams and drummer Joe Chambers. Friedman is also the featured soloist on this recording.
Anders Åstrand is a mallet artist, clinician and composer. As a mallet specialist, Åstrand regularly performs and gives clinics throughout the US, Latin America, Australia, and Europe. With his percussion ensemble, Global Percussion Network, he has toured extensively in Sweden, Europe, the USA and South Korea.