Erich Rieppel was appointed principal timpani of the Minnesota Orchestra in the fall of 2018. Prior to that, he held the same title at New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas in Miami Beach, Florida. Rieppel has performed as principal timpanist with the Seattle Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and New Jersey Symphony. He has held the posts of associate timpanist of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, substitute timpanist with the Louisville Orchestra and Charleston Symphony, and principal timpanist of the Terre Haute Symphony and the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. Since 2013, he has played timpani and percussion with the Lakes Area Music Festival in northern Minnesota.
At age 19, during a performance with the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, his playing caught the ears of a critic from the New York Times. He has also received acclaim in the Pioneer Press for a recent Minnesota Orchestra performance of Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony.
Believing in being a multi-faceted musician, Rieppel has experience in arts administration, college teaching, music librarianship, composition and conducting. Rieppel has given masterclasses at the University of Minnesota, National Youth Orchestra of the USA, and the Ibera Academy in Medellin, Colombia, the Northland Timpani Summit based in Minneapolis, The Final Round seminar in Chicago and in October of 2019, at the University of Panama. He has performed at the New World Center in Miami Beach with the 507 Collective, a piano/percussion quartet that includes his father, Dr. Daniel Rieppel.
A native of Minneapolis, he grew up near Marshall, Minnesota and received early inspiration from his parents, both professional musicians. He attended Indiana University for his bachelor’s with a minor in conducting and master’s degrees where he studied a variety of percussion with John Tafoya, Kevin Bobo, Steve Houghton and Michael Spiro. He has also studied with Josef Gumpinger, David Herbert, Shannon Wood, Ed Stephan, Tom Freer and other artists of great influence. He spent one summer at the Aspen Music Festival and three winters at the New York String Orchestra Seminar. Rieppel proudly endorses Freer Percussion Products and Pearl/Adams percussion. In his free time, he plays hockey.