Brian Prechtl joined the percussion section of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2003, under then music director Yuri Temirkanov. Prior to his BSO appointment, he was a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic for 14 seasons, having previously served as Principal Percussion with the Columbus and Toledo symphony orchestras. Prechtl studied with several of the giants in the field of percussion, among them Charles Owen, Michael Udow and Alan Abel. He earned degrees at the University of Michigan and at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he also performed as a substitute player with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He credits the Hartt Summer Youth Music Program, where he first experienced the thrill of great symphonic music, as the inspiration for his life’s work.
Prechtl is a passionate advocate for music education, and he has worked as an educator and mentor with the BSO’s outreach program, OrchKids, since 2009. Prechtl works with more than 200 children weekly in three schools in Baltimore’s most at-risk neighborhoods, calling it the most fulfilling work he does.
“We’re trying to give these children a glimpse out of the difficult circumstances that encompass their world-view, and trying to instill values and skills that will serve them in all areas for the rest of their lives – concepts like teamwork, concentration, independence and discipline. We help them understand what can be possible when they channel their energies with a sense of focus and purpose for any task. They learn what they can accomplish as individuals and the power of cooperation that a group can achieve. We also teach them a little something about music, but it’s about so much more than that. We want to unleash the desire to dream big beautiful dreams and the skills that will help them make those dreams a reality.”
An active composer, Mr. Prechtl has had world premiere performances at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming, at the Eastman School of Music and in Baltimore. He is composer-in-residence at the Second Presbyterian Church Candlelight Concert Series, which features chamber music performed by BSO musicians, and where 25 of his works have been performed.
Prechtl spends his free time with his partner Tad Peel and their pit terrier, Clarence. He and his children Jason, Naomi and Adam can be found hiking and camping in Patapsco State Park in Maryland or on the banks of Jackson Lake in Jackson Hole each summer, where he has been a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival percussion section since 1992.