Originally Posted by TopCat
Here's what i don't get. How did he find the time necessary to practice as much as he did? I can barely score an hour or two these days..
Vienna Conservatory. You have to audition to get in. (Sorta like auditiong for Berklee College of Music or Juilliard Music School.) It helps being in a focused environment during the critical development years.
Here is the PDF of audition requirements at Juilliard:
You can check out the "percussion" section. Btw, Julliard also requires the ability to play Beethoven's 5th on your double-bass pedal. I can't do that, therefore, I'm not good enough to get accepted.