Q & A with Martin Piechotta


How do you prepare yourself right before a concert?

Normally, I start with warming up,
loosening my joints. Sometimes, depending on the piece we play, I have a look at the notes to sharpen the focus.

Of all the pieces we play on this tour, which one is the most exciting one for you and your instrument?

Beethoven Violin Concerto, because the timpani has a duet with the solo violin during the cadenzas. I don’t have so much to play, but what I play is very exposed.

Why do you have so many different mallets and what is the difference in playing them?


I always explain this by comparing it to golf: Depending on the shot, you use different clubs. It is similar with timpani: Depending on the sound you want to produce, whether you want a sharper or a warmer sound, you choose appropriate mallets. Also, often on a big tour like this one, we can’t bring our own timpani and we have to borrow the instruments for each concert in each different city. I never really know what I will find until I get there and I actually play them, so I try to be prepared with appropriate mallets for all situations – each set of timpani, each kind of timpani skin and each different concert hall.


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