Frank Epstein - Founder

Frank Epstein,  founder and president

Frank Epstein, founder and president

Frank Epstein founded Collage New Music in 1972, and he was the ensemble’s music director for twenty years and is the president of the Collage. He has overseen the ensemble’s commissioning and performance of more than 200 new works, and he has produced seventeen of the ensemble’s recordings. As a percussionist, Frank hasrecorded with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Boston Pops, as well as with Collage.

A native of Holland, Frank came to the United States in 1952, and his family settled in Hollywood, California. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, New England Conservatory, and Tanglewood Music Center. He has been a member of the San Antonio Symphony, and he became a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1968, when he was still a student at NEC. He was in the percussion section until his retirement in 2011. Frank is a faculty member at the Tanglewood Music Center and at New England Conservatory, where he founded and directs the NEC Percussion Ensemble and is Chairman of the Brass and Percussion Department.

Frank is also a consultant for Avedis Zildjian Company, working on new product development, including the company’s introduction of the Classical Orchestral Cymbal Selection. Frank has also developed a number of percussion instruments, including the Symphonic Castanet—now used worldwide—as well as other gadgets that make life easier for the professional percussionist. His authoritative book on orchestral cymbal playing, Cymbalisms, has received international acclaim, and he serves as a clinician, conducting workshops and seminars, throughout the country.

Frank holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of Southern California and a master of music degree from New England Conservatory. His teachers included Robert Sonner, Earl Hatch, Murray Spivack, William Kraft, and Everett Firth. New England Conservatory awarded him a Presidential Commendation for his work with Collage New Music.