Joseph Petrasek
The Julie and Arthur Montgomery Chair

Joseph Petrasek

Principal Percussion



Joseph Petrasek was appointed Principal Percussionist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2017, and Principal Percussionist of the Colorado Music Festival in 2019. Previously, he served as Associate Principal Percussionist of the Kansas City Symphony for 8 seasons, and as a percussion fellow in the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida.

Joseph has appeared as Guest Principal with the San Francisco Symphony, and has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Petrasek is also on the percussion faculty at the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

Originally from Southern California, Joseph earned his bachelor's degree at UCLA studying under Mitchell Peters, former Timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He went on to receive a master's degree at Temple University, studying with Philadelphia Orchestra percussionists Alan Abel and Angela Zator-Nelson.

Mr. Petrasek lives in Atlanta with his wife, Jessica, and their daughter, Sophia. He enjoys cooking and learning about wine.

Q & A

What year did you join the ASO?

Favorite composer(s)?
Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Reich

Why did you choose your instrument?
I played piano when I was really young, but one day I started playing on the coffee table with my mom’s knitting needles. She took them away and (wisely) suggested drum lessons would be better than ruining the coffee table.

Cats or dogs?
Cats (and horses)

What is your post-concert routine?
Lots of options: Glass of wine at home with my wife, stop for a late-night bite, or maybe some bourbon backstage with the bass players

What is your go-to karaoke song?
“Aces High” by Iron Maiden