Widely acclaimed as the "Percussionist's Percussionist", Prof. John H. Beck is currently the Professor Emeritus of Percussion and the former Head of Percussion Department at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, U.S.. He has been regarded as one of the most reputable performers, conductors, educationists and composers of percussion.
Prof. Beck has been a member of the Eastman faculty since 1959. He received his bachelor’s degree (1955) and master’s degree (1962), as well as Performer’s Certificate from Eastman. He retired from Eastman in 2008 and continues as Professor Emeritus of Percussion and teaches a class in The History of Percussion.
Prof. Beck’s career as a performer and teacher includes posts as percussionist, timpanist, marimba soloist with the United States Marine Band (1955-59); principal percussionist with the Rochester Philharmonic (1959-62); and timpanist for the Rochester Philharmonic (1962-2002). He has made numerous solo appearances, including performances with the Eastman Wind Ensemble and Philharmonia Orchestra, Syracuse Wind Ensemble, Chautauqua Band, Rochester Chamber Orchestra, Corning Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Memphis State Wind Ensemble, Pennsylvania Festival Band, and Filharmonia Pomorska, Poland.
His other engagements have included, the faculty of the Grand Teton Orchestra Seminar, conductor of the Penfield Symphony, performer, clinician, teacher, and conductor for the International Workshops for Percussion in Bydgoszcz, Poland; adjudicator for the International Percussion Competition in Luxembourg; the Japan Music Education and Culture Promotion in Tokyo, Japan; Timpani Competition, Paris, France and Snare Drum Competition, Atlanta, Georgia.
He was percussionist in residence at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Royal Northern Academy of Music in Manchester, England, the Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Program and Rowan University, NJ. Clinician for the International Foundation for Performing Arts Medicine, New Jersey; soloist and instructor at the Encontro Latino Americanos De Percussao in Santa Maria, Brazil; instructor, clinician, adjudicator and performer for the Giornate della Percussione Competition in Fermo, Italy; Kosa International Percussion Workshops in Vermont; International Forum of Percussion in Zagan, Poland; Crossdrummig Percussion Festival in Warsaw, Poland; Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius, Lithuania; 10th Anniversary of Neopercusion, Madrid, Spain; National Youth Orchestra, Seville, Spain and the International Percussion Workshops in Croatia. He has also toured Russia with 14 percussionists from the Percussive Arts Society.
As a conductor, Prof. Beck has appeared with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble (1962-2008); in a tour of South America with the Aeolian Consort as percussion soloist (1977); and has participated in numerous guest conducting and percussion clinics in the United States and Europe.
Among the honors Prof. Beck has received include being named the Mu Phi Epsilon Musician of the Year (1976); the Monroe County School Music Association Award (1996); Eastman’s Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching (1997); and the Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester Award for contributions to the arts (1999). He was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1999. The Percussive Arts Society presented him with an Outstanding Service Award (2002). At Eastman’s 2003 Commencement, he was awarded the Edwin Peck Curtis Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. The Commission Project presented him with the JD Award for outstanding service to music education in 2004.
Since retirement in 2008, he has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the New York State School Music Association (2009), The President’s Award from Rowan University (2010), the Lifetime Achievement Award from KOSA International Percussion (2010) and the Life Time Achievement Award from Giornate della Percussione, Fermo, Italy (2010). His book PERCUSSION MATTERS: Life at the Eastman School of Music was published in December 2011 by Meliora Press an imprint of the University of Rochester Press. The John Beck Composition Prize established by Percussion Rochester, a biennial percussion festival, was awarded as a highlight of the 2012 festival. On May12, 2016 he received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the College of Performing Arts, Rowan University, NJ.
Works / Publications
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畢教授多年來演出無數，曾參加不同樂團，包括美國海軍樂團 (1955-59)和羅徹斯特管弦樂團 (1959-2002)。畢教授由1962年開始成為羅徹斯特管弦樂團 ( Rochester Philharmonic) 的定音鼓手直至2002年。他以往經常以獨奏家身分和不同樂團合作，當中包括伊士曼管樂團及管弦樂團(Eastman Wind Ensemble and Philharmonia Orchestra)；雪城管樂團 ( Syracuse Wind Ensemble)；學托擴樂團 ( Chautauqua Band)； 羅徹斯特室樂團(Rochester Chamber Orchestra)；康寧交響樂團 (Corning Symphony)； 羅徹斯特管弦樂團 ( Rochester Philharmonic)；孟菲斯管樂團 (Memphis State Wind Ensemble)；賓夕法尼亞節日樂團( Pennsylvania Festival Band)； 與及波蘭波美拉尼亞管弦樂團(Filharmonia Pomorska, Poland)。
畢教授經常到訪不同國家為各國比賽擔任評委， 指揮樂團及帶領不同的工作坊、研討會。他以演奏家、指揮、評委、指導導師等不同的身分與不同單位合作，包括：大提頓管絃樂團研討會(the Grand Teton Orchestra Seminer);彭菲爾德交響樂團(Penfield Symphony);波蘭Bydgoszcz國際打擊樂講習班、盧森堡國際打擊樂比賽、日本東京舉行的日本音樂教育文化推廣活動、法國巴黎定音鼓比賽、 以及佐治亞州亞特蘭大小鼓大賽、佛羅倫薩Kosa國際打擊樂工作坊，波蘭Zagan國際打擊樂論壇，波蘭華沙的Crossdrummig打擊樂節，立陶宛維爾紐斯立陶宛音樂和戲劇學院，西班牙馬德里Neopercusion十週年，西班牙塞維利亞國家青年管絃樂團和克羅地亞的國際打擊樂工作坊。他在巴西聖瑪麗亞的Encontro Latino Americanos De Percussao擔任獨奏和教授，在意大利費爾莫的Giornate della Percussione比賽作評判和演出。 他還與打擊樂藝術協會的十四名打擊樂手一起在俄羅斯巡迴。
他曾任丹麥哥本哈根皇家音樂學院、英國皇家北方音樂學院、Interlochen藝術中心暑期計劃及新澤西州羅恩大學的駐校演奏家。 Prof. John H. Beck(畢約翰教授)在 1962-2008年間擔任伊士曼敲擊樂團指揮， 1977年以獨奏家身分帶領樂團到南非的風城巡迴演出， 並在美國和歐洲參加了眾多客座演講和打擊樂。
Prof. John H. Beck(畢約翰教授)過往獲得的榮譽包括：
自2008年退休以來，2009年他被授予紐約州立學校音樂協會傑出服務獎，2010年被授予羅恩大學校長獎，KOSA國際打擊樂終身成就獎和意大利費爾莫Giornate della Percussione的生命時間成就獎。他的書「突出事件：伊斯曼音樂學院的生活」於2011年12月由Meliora Press 及 羅切斯特大學出版社出版。2012年，畢約翰作曲獎的設立成為了兩年一度的羅切斯特敲擊樂節的重頭戲。畢教授於2016年獲新澤西州羅恩大學演藝學院(College of Performing Arts, Rowan University NJ) 頒授榮譽音樂博士。