Paul Ristau, percussion


Paul Ristau, Percussionist, has been with the Peninsula Music Festival since 2005. He is also the Principal Tympanist/Drumset-‘Pops Concerts’ with the Fox Valley Symphony, appointed in 1996,  Percussionist/Assistant Tympanist/Drumset ‘Pops’ with the Green Bay Symphony, and performs with touring Broadway shows at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton. Mr Ristau also has a keen interest in mentoring young musicians, and coaches both the Fox Valley and Green Bay Youth Symphony Percussion Sections as well as serving as a Judge for Youth Soloist Competitions.


Mr. Ristau received a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University in 1982, majoring in Percussion Performance, and studied with the famous George Gaber. In addition to performing with orchestras in the greater Fox Cities area, Mr. Ristau was chosen as Principal Percussionist with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Principal Tympanist in 1982 with the Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, and Principal Tympanist in 1984 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He also played as part of the 1984 Summer Olympics festivities in Los Angeles, CA. While in Los Angeles, he performed at the Hollywood Bowl, under the personal mentoring of Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas. Mr. Ristau also was Principal Tympanist with the RAI Radio-TV Orchestra in Torino, Italy, performing with such talents as Dizzy Gillespie and Radu Lupu. Mr. Ristau has also performed as Extra Percussionist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, studied with the Internationally-acclaimed Tympanist Eugene ‘Chico’ Espino, and Principal Percussionist Bill Platt; Symphonic and Opera Orchestras, Joffrey Ballet, and numerous Broadway shows in Chicago, including ‘Phantom of the Opera’.

Mr. Ristau also is Tympanist/Percussionist with the Green Lake Festival of Music, performing under the direction of the esteemed Stephen Alltop. Mr. Ristau also won the national audition and toured with the International Music Program of North Carolina School for the Arts, touring Italy and Germany to international acclaim.


He has also performed numerous National Tours through Columbia Artist Management NYC, has accompanied several nationally-known artists, and has had the privilege of performing with such stars as The Moody Blues, Kansas, Buddy Rich (featured soloist), The Temptations, Rod Stewart, STYX, Garrison Keillor, Joshua Bell, Don Rickles, and yes…Wayne Newton!

August Symphony Series performance location

Door Community Auditorium - Fish Creek 

The Peninsula Music Festival - 10347 Highway 42

Unit B Green Gables Shops 

P.O. Box 340, Ephraim, Wisconsin  54211

email: musicfestival@musicfestival.com

Phone: (920) 854-4060