by Frederick D. Fairchild
(b. Vienna, Austria September 26, 1904)
Prof. Richard Hochrainer, renowned timpanist, percussionist, teacher, percussion authority, and instrument designer, studied with Prof. Hans Schneller. His early career included orchestral work throughout Austria, Switzerland, France, and Germany, always returning to play in Vienna. In 1939 he took the position for which he would become world famous and which he would retain until his retirement in 1970: timpanist with the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera Orchestras. In 1960 he became Professor of Percussion at the Vienna Academy of Music, eventually sending many students to important orchestral positions. His wrote several widely used texts and method books including Etuden fur Timpani and has written numerous articles. Although he designed and built many percussion instruments, he is especially noted for his redesign of the Viennese timpani and snare drum.