photo Rob Shanahan

photo Rob Shanahan

Ted Atkatz


Former principal percussion of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Edward (Ted) Atkatz has performed with the Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Pacific, Seattle and Santa Barbara symphonies; Hong Kong and Los Angeles philharmonics; Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra; Chicago Chamber Musicians and the Boston Pops. He has participated in the St. Barts Music Festival since 2001 and, over the past several years, he has played on several movie scores, including The Day the Earth Stood Still, Frozen and Up.

Ted began his studies at age 10 at the Bloomingdale House of Music and later attended the preparatory division at Manhattan School of Music. He holds a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance and music education, magna cum laude, from Boston University. His graduate studies were at the New England Conservatory of Music and at Temple University, where he worked with Alan Abel of the Philadelphia Orchestra. While in graduate school, he was invited to participate in the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra for two summers, and in 1996 served as timpanist for Tanglewood’s production of Britten’s Peter Grimes, conducted by Seiji Ozawa.

Ted is on the faculty of the Lynn Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and the Texas Music Festival in Houston, and has given masterclasses and clinics worldwide.

He enjoys performing various styles of music, is a singer/songwriter, and is the founder and leader of the band NYCO. The band was the subject of a 2008 New York Times article, and its music has been featured on MTV and in advertising for Volkswagen and JC Penney. In 2012, the band released its third full-length album, Future Imperfect.

An avid long-distance runner, Ted ran the Chicago Marathon in 2001 with a time of 2:59:32, and ran the Santa Barbara Marathon in 2012 with a time of 3:09:34.