Bruce and Martha Clinton, along with members of The Clinton Family Fund, have pledged $2 million to endow the principal timpani position of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The position, held since 2013 by David Herbert, will be known as The Clinton Family Fund Principal Timpani Chair of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The gift was announced Jan. 15 by CSO President Jeff Alexander. “This extraordinarily generous gift will benefit the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for many years to come,” he said in a statement. “Everyone in the CSO family is profoundly grateful to the Clintons for their steadfast support.”

A CSO trustee and a Chicago native, Bruce Clinton recalled that his parents encouraged him to attend CSO concerts while growing up. “I developed a passion for this timeless art form, and with it, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,” he recalled. “In my late teens, I even fantasized about becoming a professional timpanist. For us, we are immensely proud to be connected, even in a small way, to Maestro Muti, to the extraordinary musicians of the CSO and to David Herbert, who is a pre-eminent timpanist.”

In 2013, the Clintons made a gift to the CSO for the purchase of a set of new timpani, which Herbert called a “huge upgrade to the orchestra’s collection.” Of the latest gift, Herbert said, “I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the generosity and foresight of Bruce and Martha Clinton in supporting this venerable orchestra now and in the future.”

PHOTO: CSO Principal Timpani David Herbert (right) chats with fellow percussionist Vadim Karpinos before a rehearsal on the CSO’s 2014 Winter Tour. | Todd Rosenberg Photography