Timpanist Eric Schweikert joined the EMF faculty in 1992 as a section percussionist, becoming principal percussionist in 1993. Eric assumed the principal timpani duties in 2012 upon the retirement of friend and mentor, John Feddersen.
Eric is the principal timpanist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and recently served as acting principal timpanist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin during the 2011-12 season. In addition, Eric is head of the percussion department at Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne where he teaches, performs on faculty recitals and is drummer of the faculty jazz combo.
Mr. Schweikert holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with timpanist Paul Yancich, and principal percussionist Richard Weiner of the Cleveland Orchestra. Further studies were pursued at the Juilliard School with timpanist Roland Kohloff of the New York Philharmonic. Eric graduated high school from the Interlochen Arts Academy where he was a student of John Alfieri. Other teachers include James Ross of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Summer festivals include the National Music Camp at Interlochen 1976-80, the Northwood Orchestra in Harbor Springs, Michigan 1984-85, the Waterloo Festival with Gerard Schwarz 1986, and Tanglewood in 1990.
During his career Mr. Schweikert has had the privilege to be a guest timpanist with the following orchestras: Detroit, Chicago, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Alabama, and Milwaukee Symphonies, as well as the Cleveland Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Eric was principal timpanist with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas during its first season in 1988-89, and was timpanist of the Victoria Symphony in British Columbia, Canada, for their 1987-88 season. Mr. Schweikert has also been a member of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra performing with the Cleveland Opera and Ballet, and was a frequent extra with the Canton and Akron Symphonies in Ohio. Eric has toured the U.S., Europe and South America with the Chicago Symphony as an extra percussionist, and Scandinavia with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as timpanist. Recordings include appearances with the Detroit and Cincinnati Symphonies, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
Mr. Schweikert has appeared as a clinician at the Percussive Arts Society Ohio Day of Percussion in 2011 and the Michigan Day of Percussion in 2012. Clinics and masterclasses have also been presented at the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, and University of Central Florida. Schweikert has been on the faculty of Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, and served as band director at the Canterbury School in Fort Wayne from 2003-2008.
Eric also enjoys playing the E flat Tenor Horn as a hobby instrument with the Old Crown Brass Band in Fort Wayne, a British style brass band he helped found in 2007. A highlight has been performing in the tenor horn section with the Five Lakes Silver Band of Royal Oak, Michigan at the 2012 North American Brass Band Association Championships in Cincinnati.
When not involved in musical activities Eric enjoys playing golf, fly fishing, canoeing and camping, and enjoying family time with his wife Kathleen and son William.