A native Taiwanese, Lider Chang was appointed principal timpanist of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, which is one of the most prestigious orchestras in China, by Maestro Long Yu since 2012. Also teaches at Xinghai Conservatory in Guangzhou as Director of Percussion Studies.
Currently he is known as one of the best timpanists both in China and Taiwan, has worked under renowned conductors such as Antoni Wit, Eiji Oue, Claus Peter Flor, Peter Ruzicka, John Nelson, Case Scaglione, etc… and frequently being invited to play with Macau Orchestra, NCPA Orchestra in Beijing, Hangzhou Philharmonic and Qingdao Symphony Orchestra.
Before this, he was the principal timpanist of Guiyang Symphony Orchestra, China and Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan.
In 2006, he was invited by Shanghai International Percussion Festival to perform a timpani concerto with Lien Percussion Group from Taiwan. Besides orchestral music, he is a versatile percussionist whose wide performance repertoire ranges from playing drum-set with several jazz and pop groups to playing contemporary music with Guangzhou Percussion Ensemble, which is the only professional percussion group in southern China.
Chang received his first master’s degree in Economics at New York University, and second master’s degree in Percussion at Carnegie Mellon University. His major teachers include Joseph Pereira of NY Philharmonic, Tim Adams of Pittsburgh Symphony, Alan Abel of Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2005, he was the first Chinese percussionist got into the Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara, CA), studied with Ted Atkatz and Michael Werner.
Since coming back to Asia in 2005, he has given several master classes both in Taiwan and China, and host clinics for timpanists/percussionists of Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Symphonic Orchestra, as well as drum-set masters, such as Dennis Chambers, John Riley, etc.
In January 2014, he premiered Michael Daugherty’s timpani concerto “Raise the Roof” in China with Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra.
In 2015, he played David Metheny’s Concerto for solo drumset with Guangzhou Percussion Ensemble at Macau Culture Center.
As a dedicated educator, Chang started the first Chinese blog for percussion education in Taiwan, it was recommended by the China Times as one of the best blog of the year. Recently he started writing a series of percussion educational articles on Sina Weibo to promote drumming/percussion arts in China, the average page views are more than 50,000 hits per article. Currently is the column writer for percussion on Music Weekly in China.
He coaches Guangzhou Youth Orchestra and Taipei Youth Wind Symphony, and some of his students already passed entrance audition of schools abroad successfully. So far Chang is the only professional timpanist that is very influential in both China and Taiwan.
Photo credits © Maggie Sung