Director of Percussion Studies
Division: Classical Performance and Composition
Program: Winds and Percussion
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Office: MUS 308
In 2007, Joseph Pereira was appointed Principal Timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic by Esa Pekka Salonen. He appeared as a soloist with the orchestra in William Kraft’s Timpani Concerto No. 1, the recording of which was released by Deutsche Grammophon on iTunes. He also regularly appears as a percussionist in the orchestra’s Green Umbrella series where he has performed solo works and has premiered many new pieces. Previously he was the Assistant Principal Timpanist/Section Percussionist of the New York Philharmonic, from January 1998 to September 2008. He currently runs the percussion studio at USC’s Thornton School of Music and also was on faculty at the Juilliard School from 2005-2013. Pereira received his master’s degree in percussion from The Juilliard School and a double bachelor’s degree in performance and composition/theory from Boston University.
As a composer, Pereira’s most recent commissions have come from Piano Spheres, for pianist Vicki Ray, percussionist Colin Currie, the Miro Quartet, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, pianist Joanne Pearce Martin, and the Manhattan School of Music. In 2014 his piece Strophé, commissioned by Colin Currie and the Miro Quartet, received it’s European premiere in Hamburg, with the the Pavel Haas Quartet and Colin Currie. In 2013, his string trio Blur, was selected as one of the winners of The American Composers Forum of Los Angeles (ACF-LA), and was premiered in Los Angeles. In 2012, the Los Angeles Philharmonic premiered his Percussion Concerto with soloist Colin Currie. The work was programmed the following season with Pereira as the soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, in Los Angeles and at London’s Barbican. Also in 2012, his quartet for amplified double basses was premiered on the LA Phil’s chamber series. Pereira’s Violin Partita, performed by violinist Robert Gupta, was released by Yarlung Records and his piece for percussion quartet Repoussé, was recorded by the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet for Sono Luminus Recordings, which received three 2013 Grammy nominations. In the summer of 2010, he conducted the premiere of his piece, …tied to the past, for seven percussionists at The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. In 2007, his first orchestral piece, Mask, was selected by the American Composers Orchestra’s annual new music readings for top emerging composers. At the New York Philharmonic, he conducted the premiere of his Quintet for Winds in 2005 on the Chamber Ensembles series at Merkin Concert Hall. The New York Times said, “…it is a restless yet lucidly textured work with an astringent harmonic language.” In 2006, Chief music critic Anthony Tommasini featured Pereira’s work as a composer and percussionist in The New York Times. Pereira’s percussion music is published Bachovich Music Publications.
Pereira has also performed with the New York Percussion Quartet, the New York New Music Ensemble, Alea III, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as principal timpanist. He can also be heard on Telarc, Teldec, and Deutsche Grammophon/Itunes recordings and has recently been part of recording the soundtracks to major motion pictures. His custom line of timpani mallets are manufactured and sold by JG Percussion. When not performing, writing, or teaching, Pereira likes to spend time with his wife, violinist Minyoung Chang, and their new daughter Sophia.