John Rudolph


John Rudolph

Hometown: Springfield, PA

Age you began playing: 12

Year you joined the TSO: 1997

Who or what inspired you most to play your instrument?  Listening to the recording collection of my grandfather John Unsinn, who was a bandleader in upstate Pennsylvania, and my aunt, Sister Regina Therese, IHM, who was Director of Music at Immaculata University.

Most memorable experience performing with the TSO: Too many to mention, but maybe three in particular:  my daughter Theresa joining the TSO’s viola section; playing in Berlin and Vienna on the TSO European tour in 2000; performing the Bartók Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion with Peter Oundjian, Emmanuel Ax, Yoko Nozaki, and David Kent in June 2010.

What is interesting to you about working in an orchestra? The fantastic repertoire and opportunity to work as a member of a great team with a singular goal.

What wisdom would you impart to students and aspiring musicians? Follow your dream and never give up. I would also share the wisdom of St. Francis of Assisi: “Start by doing what is necessary, then do what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

What is your favourite music to play? 20th-century symphonic music, ragtime, Latin and African music.

What musician or performer would you drop everything to see? Elton John. And Frank Sinatra, if it were still possible!

What 3 recordings (of any genre) would you want to have with you on a desert island? J.S. Bach’s Unaccompanied Violin Sonatas and Partitas by Henryk Szeryng, Gary Burton  Alone at Last , Santana’s  Supernatural.

- top -

Musician Biography

John Rudolph joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 1997. He served as Principal Percussionist for 20 years. He has also appeared as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and the National Arts Centre.  He was formerly principal percussionist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Radio Orchestra, and percussionist with the US Air Force Band in Washington, DC.

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Rudolph studied privately with Alan Abel and Charles Owen of The Philadelphia Orchestra.  He received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he studied with Russell Hartenberger, Tony Ames, and Morris Lang.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Rudolph has performed with NEXUS, the Amici Chamber Ensemble, Soundstreams, Masterpiece Music, Vancouver New Music, and the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival.  He frequently performs as a member of the Rudolph Family Players with his wife, flutist Kathleen Rudolph, and daughter, violist Theresa Rudolph.  He has performed with the percussion sections of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Kirov Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and Washington DC’s National Symphony Orchestra.

A devoted teacher, Mr. Rudolph is on the faculty of the Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Toronto, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

In August 2012 he received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his service to Canada as a member of the faculty of the National Youth Orchestra.

Mr. Rudolph is an avid runner and has completed 27 marathons including 5 Boston Marathons.

- top -

Give to the TSO

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is a charitable organization that relies on the support of its vibrant community to deliver outstanding programming and music education.

Donate Today

Email Club

Get insider access to Toronto Symphony Orchestra news, ticket offers, community programs, and more.

Sign up
Live Chat Button