Ted Piltzecker

Ted Piltzecker headshot

Percussion Faculty

Instrumental Studies

The Hartt School

MM, Manhattan School of Music

BM, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester

ibraphonist/Composer Ted Piltzecker has eclectic musical interests. He has performed at jazz and percussion festivals and in clubs throughout the United States and around the globe (Germany, Austria, England, China, Australia, The Netherlands, Argentina, Peru, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Finland, and Puerto Rico). He recently was a guest at festivals in Belo Horizonte, Natal, and Tatuí, Brazil where he premiered two new works - one for wind ensemble and one for jazz band at the Conservatório de Tatuí. His four albums as a leader have been critically acclaimed and influential in both the percussion and jazz worlds.

His debut album, Destinations, climbed to number eight in national jazz airplay, and his second release, Unicycle Man on the Equilibrium label (featuring Bob Minter, Harvie S, James Williams, and Dave Meade) remained on the Gavin Jazz Chart for months. The Victory Music Review calls it “a thoughtful recording filled with tasteful flair, the product of confident mature musicians who are committed to the ensemble.” Jazz writer and critic, Nat Hentoff praised the album as “a lyrical, thoughtful, relaxing meeting of mutually appreciative improvisers whose time is timeless.” All About Jazz reports that in his solo vibraphone album, Standing Alone (a collection of standards)  “fills the 43-minutes with expressive grace, maintaining interest throughout.” Muse calls it “a simultaneously technically impressive and deeply relaxing listening experience.” Steppe Forward, his latest release, has been cited as “an upbeat, joyous and uplifting album, from beginning to end” by All About Jazz, and “a nice voyage into what good jazz is all about in contemporary times” by the Jazz Review.

Ted has performed with many of the great names in jazz in New York (guitarists Gene Burtoncini and Vic Juris, bassists Rufus Reid and Todd Coolman, drummers Lewis Nash, Dennis Mackrel, and Clarence Penn, pianists Jim McNeeley, John Hicks, and Bill Charlap, and with saxophonists Chris Potter and Steve Wilson), and while directing the jazz program at the Aspen Music Festival (Jimmy Heath, Joe Williams, Clark Terry, Mel Torme, Ernie Watts, Hubert Laws, Slide Hampton, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and many more).

He has toured internationally as a member of the famed George Shearing Quintet, and has led many of his own unique ensembles including Pendulum, a duo with Canadian pianist Jim Hodgkinson, Ted’s diverse musical interests have also included tours with the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble, TV spots with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s John McEuen, appearances at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York with organist Dorothy Papadakos, and chamber music concerts with classical cellists, Yehuda Hanani and Julia Lichten, violinists, Ruben Gonzales and Calvin Wiersma, clarinetists Ayako Oshima and Dick Waller, harpists Nancy Allen and Emily Mitchell, bandoneónist, Hector Del Curto, and gadulka player (Bulgarian violin) Nikolay Kolev.

Ted Piltzecker has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Lincoln Center Institute, and the ASCAP Foundation. His works have been aired on National Public Radio’s "Performance Today" and the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s "Arts National" and have been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Ensemble at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. As a guest of the People’s Republic of China, he premiered new works for percussion at the Conservatory in Beijing. He is an associate professor of music composition at the Purchase Conservatory of Music, State University of New York. 

Ted, a graduate of the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music, performs using Musser vibraphones and Mike Balter mallets exclusively. He is an active pilot and unicyclist.