Matthew Bassett, timpani


Matthew Bassett is Principal Timpanist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. With the BPO, Mr. Bassett enjoys a busy schedule that includes approximately 120 each year and frequent studio and concert recordings. Matt is also active in the field of historical performance: He is Principal Timpanist with Apollo’s Fire (The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra), a position he has held for over 25 years. Mr. Bassett has performed as substitute timpanist with leading ensembles including, the Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa), and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed as a concerto soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, National Repertory Orchestra, and Canton Symphony.

Mr. Bassett maintains a busy schedule of solo and chamber performance. Recent appearances include the Buffalo Chamber Players, the Canisius College “Informally Formal” recital series, and a performance of Kodo by Mizuno Shuko—a duet for taiko drum and timpani—with Eitetsu Hayashi. In 1992, he was a performer for the premiere of Four 4 by John Cage at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, under the supervision of the composer.

Mr. Bassett is passionate about promoting broader knowledge and appreciation for percussion. He has presented lecture-demonstrations for donor audiences, pre-concert lectures, and as part of the “BPOvations” library lecture series. An educator for over 25 years, Mr. Bassett has taught percussion to students of all ages and ability levels. His percussion ensembles have been featured at percussion festivals, music education conventions and on live radio. Matt has composed and arranged music for percussion ensemble, marching percussion, and has written numerous exercises, and practice guides for his students. Mr. Bassett frequently presents clinics and masterclasses nationwide and is a Pearl Drums, USA “Concert Artist” for Adams Percussion. Presently, he maintains a home teaching studio.

Mr. Bassett operates a home business repairing and refurbishing percussion instruments and equipment. He also re-wraps timpani mallets for professional and amateur performers, and prepares calfskin timpani heads for professional performers and orchestras. Matt resides in Buffalo with his daughter and his partner Kathleen Bassett, a music educator, choral conductor, and vocal soloist.