Originally from Toronto, Canada, Steven Wassmansdorf has been playing
drum set since he was ten years old, percussion and timpani for over
twenty-five years professionally, and has experience in nearly every
Steven joined the percussion section of the Malaysian Philharmonic
Orchestra in 1998 – one of its original members – and held
the position of Sub-Principal Percussion for eleven seasons. With the MPO,
Steven was featured on several occasions as a multi-percussionist and
drum set player. In the MPO chamber music series Steven appeared as
an arranger/conductor and also as a percussionist in over a dozen
concerts featuring standard repertoire, percussion ensemble music,
contemporary music, and Ghanaian drumming. Steven toured with the MPO in
Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, throughout most of Malaysia
and he can be heard on more than ten MPO recordings, mainly on BIS Records.
Steven was a member of the Windsor Symphony (Canada) from 1993-1998. During the
1996-7 season, Steven was a featured soloist with the orchestra performing
Jeffrey Ryan’s Two-By-Four,
for marimba and chamber orchestra.
Before leaving for Malaysia in 1998, Steven was a substitute and extra
percussionist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for over ten years and
played with all of the major symphony orchestras in and around Toronto.
Since returning to Canada in late 2010, Steven has performed with, among
others, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra,
the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra and
Steven has also played in several musical-theatre productions in Toronto including
performances of In the Heights,
Crazy for You,
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat and Phantom of the
In September 1997 Steven traveled to Wildcat Lake in the Haliburton highlands
of Ontario, Canada to perform in R. Murray Schafer’s
Princess of the Stars,
an environmental music-theatre piece performed at dawn around the perimeter
of a small, remote lake.
In 2001 Steven traveled to Ghana to reconnect with the Ewe drumming he
learned in university with Russell Hartenberger — three weeks
immersed in African drumming, dancing and culture with Kwasi Dunyo.
Steven has performed twice at the Darmstadt Festival for New Music in Germany.
One year in Darmstadt included a complete performance of Steve Reich's
which was recorded live for German radio.
Steven has a music performance degree from the University of Toronto
where he studied with
Dr. Russell Hartenberger.
After university, Steven studied privately with
Steven's first teacher and mentor was
the timpanist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Steven also studied in Toronto with
Robin Engelman (percussion) and
(tabla and percussion), attended the
'Bob Becker Ragtime Xylophone Institute' and the Oberlin Percussion Institute (twice)
where the faculty were
Michael Rosen, Allen Otte and Eric Forester, and the
guest artists were Cloyd Duff, Doug Howard, Richard Wiener, and Paul Yancich.