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B i o g r a p h y
Brian Yarkosky's playing has been described as, "Pleasurably eclectic and smoothly virtuosic" by Seattle Times writer Michael Upchurch. He is an active full-time freelance percussionist working all over the Pacific Northwest. As an arranger, his music for marimba ensemble has been performed nationally, and his recordings have been licensed internationally for use in film, radio, and podcasts. He has performed with over thirty Western Washington based ensembles. From larger groups such as Northwest Symphony Orchestra and Everett Symphony to smaller groups such as Seattle Musical Theatre, Seattle Modern Orchestra, and Spectrum Dance Theater, Brian is a continuously sought after musician. He co-founded the Evergreen Duo, a flute and marimba duo with flutist Torrey Kaminski. He also performs on Brazilian and Afro-Cuban percussion with Pan Leggo, a steel drum ensemble performing all over the Northwest. Brian also co-founded Seattle Marimba Quartet, the Northwest’s most active professional level percussion ensemble. Seattle Marimba Quartet, or SMQ, has performed on live radio in Seattle’s 98.1 KING FM studios many times. Those recordings are aired regularly on American Public Media’s Performance Today. SMQ has released two albums to critical acclaim. The first, titled "Singing Wood," and the second, "A Thousand Pictures" which was released in January of 2017. Both are available on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.
Brian served as conductor of the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Percussion Ensemble from its inception in 2011 to 2018. He also instructed the award winning Ballard High School Drum Line and Percussion Ensemble from 2011-2016. He now directs the Islander Middle School Percussion Club, co-teaches 5th grade band in the Mercer Island School District and is a regular guest instructor for Mercer Island High School's Percussion Ensemble as well as a guest clinician in many Bellevue School District schools. He is also an instructor at the Summer Music Institute in Bellevue (BYSO), and the Affetti Summer Music Festival in Anchorage, Alaska.
Brian received his Master of Music degree from the University of Washington where he was a recipient of the Boeing Fellowship, the School of Music’s highest performance award. He toured with the UW Wind Ensemble as principal percussionist throughout a 10 day tour of Japan in 2007. Brian owes his diverse interest in percussion to his studies at Lawrence Conservatory of Music where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree. During Brian’s four years at Lawrence the conservatory brought in symphony percussionists such as Jack Van Geem, Vadim Karpinos, and Tom Stubbs. Lawrence first exposed Brian to Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and non-Western percussion by consistently bringing in exemplary artists such as Michael Spiro, Mark Lampson, and Jamey Haddad. Brian owes his proficiency as a well rounded percussionist to this exposure to great musicians from diverse musical genres.
Brian’s main teachers have included:
Dane Richeson – Lawrence Conservatory
Tom Collier – University of Washington
Michael Crusoe – Seattle Symphony
Julie Spencer – Solo Marimba Artist
Michael Werner – Seattle Symphony
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