Jim Atwood began as timpanist with the New Orleans Symphony (now, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra) in 1988 under music director Maxim Shostakovich. Jim's performing experiences over three decades are many and varied, ranging from the recording studios of the advertising world (where he also was a writer and arranger) to performances in concert halls around the world as timpanist and percussionist with the Mexico City Philharmonic. He has appeared as a concerto soloist with the National Repertoire Orchestra, and the Colorado Music Festival as well as his critically acclaimed LPO performances in 1998 of David Schiff's timpani concerto, "Speaking in Drums". He has performed as a guest with many orchestras and chamber music groups, including the Hamburg Symphony, The New York Philharmonic, The Chicago Symphony, and the Bläserquintett der Staatskapelle Berlin. Most recently, he appeared as a featured artist at the Festival Internacional de Percusion de Patagonia in Argentina.
Jim is the director of the nationally renowned Cloyd Duff Timpani Masterclass at the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri at Kansas City, sponsored by Adams Musical Instruments, and appears in masterclasses, clinics and percussion festival events across the country in presentations covering every aspect of the timpanist's art and craft. He has recorded on the Forlane label (including a Grand Prix du Disque), Decca, Centaur, Albany, Nonesuch and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg.