SFS member since: 1994
Hometown: Columbia, MO
Music schools you attended: Saint Louis Conservatory, Juilliard School
Began playing music: At age 4
Musical inspirations: My parents
If I were not a professional musician, I might be a: Airline pilot, veterinarian, ichthyologist
Favorite composers: Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert
Favorite works featuring my instrument: Beethoven, Symphony No. 9; Nielsen, Symphony No. 4; Brahms, Symphony No. 1; Strauss, Burleske
When I’m not working, I enjoy: Exercise, biking, jogging, working out, cooking, spending time with family
On my CD player/iPod: Turbo Weekend, Ray Charles, Ink Spots, Wanda Jackson
Favorite things to do in the Bay Area: Bike riding, exploring my neighborhood (Mission District)
Plus: I am currently writing a book about the timpani parts in the Mahler symphonies. I’m premiering a solo piece commissioned by MTT and composed by Alex Orfaly with the New World Symphony in Miami.
James Lee Wyatt III joined the San Francisco Symphony in 2001 after serving as principal percussionist of the Honolulu Symphony. A native of Princeton, Kentucky, he received his bachelor’s from the University of Michigan and his master’s from Temple University. Mr. Wyatt has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, National Repertory Orchestra, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and the Ojai Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, and the US and Italian Spoleto Festivals.
On being in the Orchestra:
I'm fortunate to be part of an incredible percussion section. We play together as a unit, while still bringing individual concepts and approaches to the music. It's an honor performing with MTT and the SFS. Michael is very innovative and spontaneous. He allows the musicians to take chances, which always leads to edge-of-the-seat performances.
My clear favorite is Dmitri Shostakovich, not only for his great percussion writing, but also for the angst and conflict that define his music. In 1998 I played snare drum on the Symphony No. 11 with MTT at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. Years later, in the final round of my SFS audition, I played excerpts from that work with MTT. Revisiting this piece as part of winning my job is an experience I’ll never forget.
Outside the Orchestra:
I own two businesses: California Percussion, LLC, manufactures and sells percussion instruments; and Absolutely Music, Inc., offers backline, piano, and percussion rentals. Both began as hobbies and became serious commitments. My leisure pursuits tend to be associated with my career: I enjoy traveling the world in search of exotic percussion instruments.
Raymond Froehlich joined the San Francisco Symphony as a percussionist in 1991. A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he was previously a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and a timpanist with the Berkeley Symphony. He has performed with several jazz ensembles in the Bay Area, as well as a rock trio and Ultra World X-tet, which combines Chinese instruments with saxophone, electric guitar, and bass.
SFS member since: 1974
Hometown: Burbank, CA
Music schools you attended: Oberlin College
Began playing music: At age 9
Musical inspirations: Drummer Hack O’Brien
If I were not a professional musician, I might be a: Mediator
Favorite composers: Berlioz, Mahler, Copland
Favorite works featuring my instrument: Harrison, Canticle No. 3; Shostakovich, Symphony No. 11; Orff, Carmina burana; Beethoven, Symphony No. 9
When I’m not working, I enjoy: Eating, cooking, home renovation/preservation, walking with my wife
Recent reading: Write!, by Arthur Krystal
On my CD player/iPod: Swedish fiddle and African harp music
Favorite things to do in the Bay Area: Urban walks (especially SF): walk, stop, drink, walk, stop, eat, enjoy the salt air.
Plus: I love coaching the Youth Orchestra.
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
Mon - Fri: 10am - 6pm
Sun: 2 hours prior to concerts
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