Ralph Sorrentino is the Director of Percussion Studies at West Chester University, where he teaches applied percussion and directs the West Chester University Percussion Ensemble. Sorrentino also serves as Principal Percussionist with the Opera Philadelphia Orchestra and Section Percussionist with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra. Sorrentino’s work with Opera Philadelphia includes critically acclaimed performances at Philadelphia’s historic Academy of Music, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and Harlem’s world-famous Apollo Theater. Sorrentino was the principal percussionist for Opera Philadelphia’s April 2016 New York premiere performances of Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, which marked the first time that opera was performed on the Apollo Theater stage.
Sorrentino also performs as a substitute percussionist with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performing under the batons of many of the world’s great conductors (Riccardo Muti, Sir Simon Rattle, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Kirill Petrenko, Jaap van Zweden, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Michael Tilson Thomas) in some of the nation’s premier concert venues (Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Ravinia Festival, and the Bravo! Vail Music Festival). Sorrentino has also performed with the Russian National Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Philly Pops, and the Delaware, Harrisburg, and Bay Atlantic Symphonies. Sorrentino has performed for several international dignitaries, including HRH Prince Charles and Pope Francis.
Sorrentino’s debut solo percussion album, multiplicity, was released in October 2014 and is available on Apple Music and Amazon Music. Sorrentino gave the 2003 world premiere performance of composer Robert Maggio’s Songs from the Wood after playing an integral role in the commission and development of the solo marimba composition. Sorrentino has performed as a concerto soloist with the Immaculata Symphony, West Chester University Percussion Ensemble, University of Delaware Percussion Ensemble, and Messiah University Percussion Ensemble. Sorrentino was named National First Runner-Up at the 1999 MTNA Collegiate Artist Percussion Competition in Los Angeles, CA, after winning the competition’s state and northeast regional levels. Sorrentino has recorded percussion tracks for NFL Films, including music that has been heard on the national television broadcasts of Super Bowls XL through LIV. Sorrentino is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Electrum Duo, along with flutist Sophia Anastasia.
Sorrentino joined West Chester University’s percussion faculty in August 2004, and he has presented clinics and masterclasses at a number of universities. Sorrentino’s undergraduate percussion students have been admitted to a variety of prestigious graduate schools, and his high school percussion students have been admitted to top conservatories and universities.
Sorrentino holds an Ed.D. in Policy, Planning, and Administration from West Chester University, an M.M. in Orchestral Instrument Performance from Temple University, and B.M. (Music Performance) and B.S. (Music Education) degrees from West Chester University. His principal teachers include Alan Abel, Angela Zator Nelson, Matthew Strauss, and Chris Hanning.
Sorrentino proudly endorses Pearl Drums, Adams Musical Instruments, SABIAN cymbals, and Innovative Percussion.