The Story Of A Musician

A musician of world-wide renown, Sam Denov will host this website. He has been a professional musician since the age of 18. In addition he is a clinician, author and lecturer. Denov is a percussionist and timpanist who was a scholarship student of the late Roy C. Knapp.

Sam has been the recipient of many honors over the years. For more than three decades, Denov's biographical sketch appeared in Who's Who In America and Who's Who In Entertainment. He is also the inventor of an automatic tuning device for timpani. (Click on Denov Patent link below.)

Denov Patent

After a hitch in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he was engaged by the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra in 1947. Three years later, he was asked to join the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, where he remained for two seasons.

After returning to Chicago and free-lancing there, he was often hired as an extra percussionist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1954, he became a regular member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when he was hired by the legendary Fritz Reiner. He served as a percussionist and timpanist with the CSO for 31 years, retiring in 1985.

During his career, he performed with many of the world's most renowned conductors, appeared on television, was heard on radio broadcasts and performed live in concert throughout the world. He has also performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.

He has performed on countless recordings on many labels, two dozen of which were Grammy Award winning recordings with the CSO. In addition, he performed on an early legendary recording by Mercury Records entitled Percussion in Hi-Fi which has been the subject of discussion ever since 1956.

Denov is also the author of The Art of Playing the Cymbals which has become a classic text book used throughout the world since its first publication in 1963. In 2002, he authored an autobiographical account of his years with the CSO entitled Symphonic Paradox: The Misadventures of a Wayward Musician. That critically acclaimed book has been read around the globe. He has also written many articles published in scholarly journals.

To learn more or purchase his book or some of the fabulous recording classics he has performed on, click on the following link to his Amazon Store.

A caricature of our host drawn aboard the cruise ship, Millennium, in February, 2007. The artist maintains a website at

Our host, Sam Denov (left), shown with the late composer, Igor Stravinsky (center), in this historic photo taken at Ravinia Park, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Sam Denov (second from left) with comedian Jack Benny (seated), along with Francis Akos and Victor Aitay (CSO violinists) discussing a Chicago Symphony Orchestra benefit concert,

Amazon Store Link

Denov has given Clinics and Master Classes throughout the United States. He endorses Zildjian Cymbals and Mike Balter Mallets. He has also appeared on prize-winning educational films and videos sponsored by Zildjian.

Sam graduated from Chicago's Lane Technical High School and Roosevelt University as well as the U.S. Navy School of Music. He holds a degree in Labor Education and also attended the John Marshall Law School. He has served in many different leadership roles including the Chairmanship of the International Conference of Symphony & Opera Musicians (ICSOM).

With his vast knowledge, Sam Denov brings authority, experience and vision to this website.