Everett “Vic” Firth, a legend of music, died of pancreatic cancer at home in Boston on Sunday. He was 85.
Firth was the renowned principal timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1956 to 2002. He also started his own percussion equipment company.
When he retired in 2002, Keith Lockhart, a conductor for Boston Pops, called him “the greatest timpanist in the world” and Seiji Ozawa, who was a music director then, told the Globe: “Vic puts his timpani into the very core of the musical pulse, and that affects everything else that happens in the orchestra.”
Firth started making his own drumsticks simply because he wasn’t happy with the ones that were available to him. His dissatisfaction turned into a wildly successful family business, and made him a music legend.
Before his passing, Mr. Firth asked that he not have a funeral.
R.I.P. Vic Firth.