A native New Yorker, Charles Dowd was principal timpanist of the Eugene Symphony, Oregon Bach Festival, Cascade Festival of Music, Oregon Festival of American Music and Oregon Coast Music Festival. For thirty years Dowd was principal timpanist of the Cabrillo Music Festival in Santa Cruz, which won 18 consecutive ASCAP awards under Dennis Russell Davies and Marin Alsop.
Dowd performed throughout the USA, in France, Germany, Mexico and in Canada. He has performed in Carnegie Hall, RCA Studios in New York, and with the Juilliard Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and many others. Dowd has recorded on Music Masters, Warner Bros., Black Saint Soul Note, PAUSA, Hanssler Germany, cdmUSA, Columbia, and KM Los Angeles record labels, and has written seven books on percussion performance, sold worldwide.
His musical training includes DMA residency work with Saul Goodman at the Juilliard School, a master’s degree at Stanford and a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University, both with Anthony J. Cirone of the San Francisco Symphony. Dowd was a Philip H. Knight Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Oregon School of Music and conductor/music director or the Oregon Percussion Ensemble, specializing in the premieres of avant-garde works for modern percussion chamber ensemble.