The multi facets of Rich O'Donnell span 44 years as virtuoso percussionist, composer, designer and builder of percussion and electronic instruments, teacher and writer. He is director of the Electronic Music Studio at Washington University, head of the Washington University Percussion
Department, and music director of New Music Circle. Formerly, he was principal percussionist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He has many commissions to his credit. Some of the most recent include: Zato Kujira, for Tuba and Percussion Trio (2/86), commissioned by St. Louis Symphony Discovery Series; Life in the Slow Lane, for MIDI Violin and Percussion (3/89) with Chris Woehr; Artikos, for electronics plus viola, violin, percussion (4/90) with Woehr and Steve Balderson; No 2 Straight Lines, improvisation for trombone/electronic percussion/interactive computer (2/94) with Tim Myer. He has a number of recordings and publications inlcuding Fire and Ice: The Music, CD released by D’or Music (1994),Machu Picchu/ Sacred Light, CD released by D’or Music (1997), Fourth Camp, for percussion, book published by D’or Music (1997), Locations, DVD, The Collaborative Works of Bill Kohn (2002). As a virtuoso percussionist, compositions have been written especially for
O'Donnell by many composers, including Jocy d'Oliviera, Eleazar de Carvalho, Walter Susskind, Robert Wykes, Carlos Santoro, Tom Hamilton, J.D. Parran and Michael Hunt. O'Donnell is currently preparing two books on SeeSaw Drumming with 3 accompanying CD’s illustrating the technique. He is also creating interactive computer/ synthesizer software to accompany live percussion performances. Rich O’Donnell was named to the Ritenour High School Hall of Fame, 2002. His studied at Ritenour High School, St. Louis (Diploma 1955), the St. Louis Institute of Music (1955-1957), and North Texas State University, Denton, TX, 1957-1959. His music is published by Media Press.