William Kraft was a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 26 seasons, 20 as principal timpanist. Starting in the 1955/56 season, the first seven seasons were spent as a member of the percussion section. He was also the assistant conductor for three seasons under Zubin Mehta.
Lamenting the abundance of what he called “rat-a-tat, boom-boom” music for drums, William Kraft set out to create more sophisticated offerings that would bring greater respect to instruments he felt were too often taken for granted in orchestras.
William Kraft, a percussionist, composer, conductor and educator who played a long and indispensable role in making Los Angeles a world capital of new music, died Saturday at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. His wife, composer Joan Huang, says the cause was heart failure. He was 98.
Copyright © 2022 William Kraft- All Rights Reserved.