Jim Benoit, a native of Niskayuna, New York, is the newly appointed Principal Timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. 

Previously, Jim was the Principal Timpanist of the Seattle Symphony, the Associate Principal Percussionist and Assistant Principal Timpanist of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and a section percussionist with the Sarasota Opera. He also has performed with the Boston Pops, Malaysian Philharmonic, Sarasota Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, and the New World Symphony, and toured with the Star Wars in Concert Orchestra. 

As an educator, Jim was on faculty at the University of Pittsburgh and the Luzerne Music Center. Jim enjoys teaching and coaching a variety of subjects, including timpani, percussion, and chamber music. He also has a passion for performing and teaching jazz vibraphone, stemming from his time touring as the vibraphonist of The Waitiki 7, a polynesian latin/jazz band. 

Jim received his Artist Diploma from Duquesne University, his Master’s Degree from The Juilliard School, and his Bachelor’s Degree from the Berklee College of Music.


  • A.D., Duquesne University
  • M.M., The Juilliard School
  • B.M., Berklee College of Music


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Associated Programs

  • Member, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra