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Charles Settle

Principal Percussion

Charles Settle joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Principal Percussion in 2017. He was previously a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (2004–2017), where he had been serving as Acting Principal Percussion since 2015. Charles has also appeared with many other ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic (where he was Percussion and Assistant Principal Timpanist for the 2008/09 season), Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In the summer months, Charles performs with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Sun Valley, Idaho, as well as the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

From 2000 to 2004, Charles was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. Charles made his début solo appearance in September 2015 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, performing Avner Dorman’s concerto for two percussionists, entitled Spices, Perfumes, and Toxins.

An active educator, Charles has given masterclasses at the University of Toronto, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Florida, DePaul University, Manhattan School of Music, Interlochen Arts Camp, New World Symphony, and the Curtis Institute of Music where he visits annually. From 2013 to 2017, Settle was an adjunct faculty member at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. He also coached the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2004 to 2015. In 2017, Charles joined the faculty of The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory. He is the Percussion Coach of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Charles was born in Princeton, Kentucky, where his love of music began. He completed his high school studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy, and earned his Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Michael Bookspan and Don Liuzzi. Charles serves as an Artist and Clinician for Zildjian Cymbals, Freer Percussion, and Pearl/Adams Drums.

When Charles is not performing, you can find him playing outside with his two young children or enjoying a glass of wine with his wife.