David Herbert is principal timpani of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a post he has held since 2013 after being appointed by Music Director Riccardo Muti. Prior to joining the CSO, he served as principal timpanist of the San Francisco Symphony.
Herbert has been featured as a guest artist at many of the world’s premier ensembles including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Mito Chamber Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Mainly Mozart Festival and St. Louis Symphony; with the latter orchestra he made his professional solo debut after winning its young artist competition in 1991. Since then, he has appeared as concerto soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra and the New World Symphony. He performed the world premiere of William Kraft’s Grand Encounter Timpani Concerto No. 2 in 2005 with the San Francisco Symphony, a commission written specifically for him.
Herbert is sought after as a chamber musician and clinician around the world and currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Music at DePaul University. He appears annually at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan as PMF America International Guest Artist.
Herbert began piano studies with his parents, both professional pianists. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree from the Juilliard School.