Joseph Bricker

Instrument: Timpani and Percussion

Education:The Juilliard School & DePaul University

Hometown: Evanston, Illinois

Neighborhood: Oakley

Joined the CSO in 2022

Family: I live with my two lovely cats Jackie and Fitzgerald.

Where do you draw inspiration from as a musician? I try to draw inspiration from...everything? Music is a sort of three-way collaboration between the composer, the performer, and the listener, and by taking into account each person’s experience we can create a unique, meaningful performance. As a performer, I’m trying to find out something about the composer through their notation and communicate that to the audience. It’s like a game of “inspired telephone”, and trying to pass that message faithfully is one of the reasons why I play.

Hobbies: My biggest hobby is actually working to create new music education programs all over! When the pandemic began, I worked with the Chicago Symphony and Civic Orchestra of Chicago to create new digital educational programming that continues to this day, including a program called Chicago, From Scratch, where students compose music for the first time using contemporary notation styles and techniques. In 2017, I helped create a brand new band program for PS191 in New York, and have been working with a number of different organizations since 2014. At home, I am a cook and have been trying to make the perfect at-home pizza for years! My cats keep trying to steal a slice and they are harsh critics.

How can the Orchestra make the world a better place? The reason I have wanted to be in an orchestra since I was a kid was the orchestra’s ability to make someone listening feel...anything. If I’m sitting anywhere and watching a performance, I might feel stirred, I might get dizzy at moments, I might be angry, I might be frustrated, but at bare minimum I am engaging with the hundred or so musicians on stage and I am completely in the moment with them and the thousand other audience members. It’s a shared experience unlike any other that reminds us that we’re all human.