Alan Abel

Temple University

We mourn the loss of Philadelphia percussion legend, Alan Abel, who was a guru to generations of percussionists. He died on April 25, 2020 from complications of COVID-19. You can hear his warmth, creativity, and sense of humor in this 2012 WRTI feature, as well as the feelings of admiration and affection from his colleagues who now carry on.

The word percussion comes from the Latin word percussionem, meaning 'to strike.'  But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, playing percussion in a symphony orchestra also requires rhythm, musicality, and physical grace.

Percussion instruments can keep the beat, but they also add color. Angela Zator Nelson is The Philadelphia Orchestra’s associate principal timpani and a member of the percussion section.

This week, percussion students from the U.S. and countries as far away as Argentina and Asia are gathering at Temple’s Boyer College of Music and Dance for a seminar led by a former Philadelphia Orchestra percussionist.  As WRTI's Susan Lewis reports, Alan Abel continues year round to share his talents as a musician and craftsman.

Music lives on a leafy street in the Philadelphia suburb of Wynnewood, where a former Philadelphia Orchestra percussionist and longtime teacher continues to share his talents as a musician and craftsman. WRTI’s Susan Lewis visits percussionist Alan Abel.

Yannick!--Percussionist Alan Abel--A Star Tenor and His Teacher

Jan 7, 2012

Jim Cotter speaks with Yannick Nezet-Seguin, music director designate of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Susan Lewis profiles the legendary percussionist Alan Abel.

David Patrick Stearns examines the relationship between star tenor Stephen Costello and his coach Bill Schuman, an Academy of Vocal Arts faculty member who is considered to be one of the great voice builders - and re-builders - in the business.

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David Patrick Stearns reports from the Philadelphia Orchestra's European tour.

Opera Company of Philadelphia's new season is previewed.

Susan Lewis profiles legendary percussionist Alan Abel.

Jim Cotter looks ahead to a new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art featuring the photography of ten local artists.

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