Herbert also premiered Kraft's First Timpani Concerto in 1999 with the SFS; the orchestra then commissioned the composer to write a second concerto. For the second piece, Herbert invented and oversaw the creation of nine smaller timpani and a rack to suspend them over the standard complement of six on the floor, expanding the range of the instrument.
Kraft is himself a timpanist, having served as principal timpanist of the Los Angles Philharmonic for 18 years. He has also served as the Philharmonic's composer in residence, assistant conductor, and director of the orchestra's New Music Group, which he founded. In addition, he founded the Los Angeles Percussion Ensemble.
The program, which will be repeated on June 10, 12, 15, 16, and 18 in San Francisco and June 17 in Cupertino, also includes Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Soprano Twyla Robinson, mezzo-soprano Gigi Mitchell-Velasco, tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, and bass Raymond Aceto are the vocal soloists.