Arts & Entertainment, The Muse

BU Percussionist Begins his First 2009-2010 BSO Season with a Bang

A seven-year-old made a pivotal decision, after much deliberation, to play the drums instead of the double bass. For Dan Bauch, this decision would shape his passion and career choice. Now at Symphony Hall he is living his childhood dream, performing in his first season with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.’ ‘

‘I grew up listening to the Boston Symphony. The people on stage were players I looked up to and I aspired to be where they were sitting,’ Bauch said.

Originally from New York, Dan Bauch moved with his family to Boxborough, a northwestern suburb of Boston, at the age of ten.

Through the course of his development, Bauch benefited from just studying music and the mechanics.

‘Practicing scales and developing dexterity in my hands and collaborating with other musicians are just as important to building musical maturity’, said Bauch.

On the weekends during his high school years, Bauch would drive into Boston to study percussion with BSO’s Timothy Genis and Will Hudgins. When contemplating career choices and his educational future, music took priority.

‘My parents were always encouraging of the path that I seemed to be choosing,’ he said. ‘But they did sit me down at one point and have that discussion where they asked me if I was fully aware of what type of commitment I was up against and that the chances of succeeding in the field of music were limited and competitive.’

His natural talent and musical involvement in high school eased his parents’ concerns and in 2002 he began his undergraduate degree at Julliard. In 2004, he graduated with a Masters of Music degree from Boston University.

‘What attracted me to BU was the teacher I was studying with, Tim Genis. I came to BU to really specialize and hone my orchestral skills.’

After graduation, he became a faculty member at BU, where he taught for two years.

‘I taught class percussion for music education majors. I also directed the percussion ensemble. I felt really fortunate to have that opportunity upon graduating.’

Before returning to Boston, Bauch performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for three seasons. Now the Assistant Timpanist and Section Percussionist for the BSO, Bauch has found his ideal performance sanctuary.

‘Symphony Hall is the standard of what a concert hall should sound like. It’s such a pleasure to play in that space everyday. A lot of what the musicians think about as far as sound produced and the beauty of tone is complimented by the Hall. It produces so many possibilities as far as colors and subtle timbres that enhance the music that we are playing.’

Bauch’s favorite musical period and composer seems to fluctuate with each piece he performs with the BSO.

‘ ‘It depends on the week; if we are playing a Brahms symphony in the orchestra, I might tell you that Brahms is my favorite composer or this week we are playing Stravinsky’s ‘Petrushka’, and I’m reminded every time we play it of how great of a piece that is. It’s one of those things that is constantly evolving.’

Bauch believes that the variation of pieces is beneficial to the performers, as well as to the audiences.

‘We get to play music from every single period and every style on a regular basis and it’s great for the orchestra to have that variety and it’s great for the city.’

Bauch anticipates an exciting season.

‘I’m really looking forward to, directly after the New Year, performing Mahler’s ‘Fourth Symphony’ and Strauss’ ‘Four Last Songs,’ which are absolutely gorgeous.’

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