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Colin Currie

Artist in Association, Southbank Centre, London / Artist in Residence, Oregon Symphony Orchestra

  • Hailed as “the world’s finest and most daring percussionist” (Spectator), Colin Currie is a solo and chamber artist at the peak of his powers. Championing new music at the highest level, Currie is the soloist of choice for many of today’s foremost composers and he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors.

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  • A dynamic and adventurous soloist, Currie’s unrivalled commitment to commissioning and creating new music was recognised in 2015 by the Royal Philharmonic Society who awarded him the Instrumentalist Award. From his earliest years Currie forged a pioneering path in creating new music for percussion, winning the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award in 2000 and receiving a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2005. Currie has premiered works by composers such as Steve Reich, Elliott Carter, Louis Andriessen, HK Gruber, James MacMillan, Anna Clyne, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Ross Edwards, Jennifer Higdon, Kalevi Aho, Rolf Wallin, Kurt Schwertsik, Simon Holt, Alexander Goehr, Andrew Norman, Dave Maric, Julia Wolfe and Nico Muhly. Looking ahead, in the coming seasons Currie will premiere new works by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Harrison Birtwistle and Andy Akiho.

    Currie is Artist in Association at London’s Southbank Centre, where he was the focus of a major percussion festival Metal Wood Skin in 2014, featuring premieres by Steve Reich, Anna Clyne, James MacMillan Percussion Concerto No.2 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Louis Andriessen’s Tapdance with Asko-Schoenberg Ensemble alongside school’s concerts and percussion workshops. Currie is also Artist in Residence with Oregon Symphony Orchestra 2015/16 -2017/18. The three season residency includes annual performances with Oregon Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of a new percussion concerto by Andy Akiho, and extensive education and outreach work.

    Highlights of the 2016/17 season include the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Percussion Concerto with Marin Alsop and the Britten-Pears Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall, and a series of solo recitals including Washington, Princeton, Boston and Glasgow. Currie also makes his debut with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, performing MacMillan’s Veni, Veni, Emmanuel with Manfred Honeck conducting. Currie ends the season performing both MacMillan percussion concerti in a two week tour with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James MacMillan. Other highlights include performances with Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Sinfonia Rotterdam and at the Grand Teton Music Festival.

    Currie’s dynamic ensemble the Colin Currie Group was formed in 2006 to celebrate the music of Steve Reich and made its five-star debut at the BBC Proms. Since then, with Reich’s personal endorsement Currie and his ensemble have taken on the role of ambassadors of Drumming, which they have performed at many venues and festivals internationally. Highlights of the 2016/17 season include their debut performance at Macau International Music Festival with Drumming, a return visit to Tokyo Opera City, Tehillim at Royal Festival Hall and two performances in Hamburg as part of the opening season of the Elbphilharmonie.

    Currie has recorded many concerto, recital and chamber works including most recently Andrew Norman’s Switch with Utah Symphony and Thierry Fischer, released on Reference Records. His recording of Rautavaara’s Incantations with the Helsinki Philharmonic/Storgårds (Ondine) was released to critical acclaim and won a 2012 Gramophone Award. Previous releases by Currie include MacMillan’s Veni, Veni, Emmanuel with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic/MacMillan on Challenge Classics, Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with the London Philharmonic/Alsop, which won a 2010 Grammy Award, and a recital disc Borrowed Time featuring music by Dave Maric (Onyx). Currie recently recorded Steve Reich’s Quartet with Colin Currie Group to be released by Nonesuch Records in coming seasons; his recording of Carter will be released on Ondine in 2017 as will his recording of Bartok on Hyperion.

    Colin Currie plays Zildjan cymbals and is a MarimbaOne Artist.

    2016/17 season / 602 words. Not to be altered without permission.


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Concerto repertoire

*possible for chamber orchestra

Kalevi Aho

Louis Andriessen

Sally Beamish
Dance Variations*

Elliott Carter
Two Controversies and a Conversation*

Unsuk Chin
Double Concerto (piano & percussion)*

John Corigliano

Joe Duddell
Snowblind (with string ensemble)*

Tan Dun
Concerto for Water Percussion

Hk Gruber
Into the open... (world premiere 2015)
Rough Music

Jennifer Higdon
Percussion Concerto

Simon Holt
a table of noises

Zhou Long
Da Qu

Steven Mackey
Time Release*

James MacMillan
Percussion Concerto No. 2
Veni, Veni Emmanuel*

Dave Maric
Lifetimes (with string ensemble)*
Towards Future's Embrace*

Askell Masson
Crossings (concerto for two percussionists)
Percussion Concerto

Andrew Norman
Switch (world premiere 2015)

Einojuhani Rautavaara

Joey Roukens
Rotterdam Concerto*

Christopher Rouse
Der gerettete Alberich

Kurt Schwertsik
Now you hear me, now you don't* (with string ensemble)

Michael Torke

George Tsontakis

Erkki-Sven Tüür

Julia Wolfe
riSE and fLY

Iannis Xenakis
Aïs (baritone, percussion and orchestra)


Marin Alsop
Andrey Boreyko
Dougie Boyd
Martyn Brabbins
Baldur Brönnimann
Christoph Eschenbach
Thierry Fischer
James Gaffigan
HK Gruber
Giancarlo Guerrero
Manfred Honeck
Pietari Inkinen
Kristjan Järvi
Oliver Knussen
Hannu Lintu
James MacMillan
Yannick Nezet-Seguin
Sakari Oramo
Andrés Orozco-Estrada
Andre de Ridder
David Robertson
François-Xavier Roth
Santtu-Matias Rouvali
Kwame Ryan
Donald Runnicles
Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Alexander Shelley
Dima Slobodeniouk
Tugan Sokhiev
Thomas Søndergård
John Storgårds
Bramwell Tovey
Osmo Vänskä
Gilbert Varga
Joshua Weilerstein

Concerto engagements

Colin Currie has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, in recent seasons with the New York Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Highlights of 16/17 and beyond:
Danish National Symphony Orchestra/Honeck, Oregon Symphony Orchestra/Kalmar, New World Symphony/Gruber, Pittsburgh Symphony/Honeck, Britten-Pears Orchestra/Alsop, Helsinki Philharmonic/Vänskä, New Zealand Symphony/MacMillan, Stockholm Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Metal Wood Skin percussion festival at Southbank Centre

Colin Currie is Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre, and in autumn 2014 was the figurehead of a major percussion festival, Metal, Wood, Skin. The festival showcased Currie’s physicality, dynamism and raw talent in new commissions written especially for him by Steve Reich, James MacMillan, Louis Andriessen and Anna Clyne.

Wed 17 Sep 2014
Youth Orchestra of Bahia
Ricardo Castro conductor
Colin Currie percussion

Julia Wolfe riSE and fLY (Percussion Concerto)

Sun 5 Oct 2014
Asko | Schönberg Ensemble
Clarke Rundell conductor
Colin Currie percussion

Andriessen Tapdance for percussion & large ensemble (UK premiere)
Anna Clyne Secret Garden for solo drum kit & pre-recorded sound (World Premiere)

Sun 12 Oct 2014
Colin Currie Group with Steve Reich

Reich Clapping Music
Reich Sextet for percussion & keyboards
Reich Mallet Quartet for 2 marimbas & 2 vibraphones
Reich Quartet for 2 vibraphones & 2 pianos (World premiere)

Tue 11 Nov 2014
Aurora Orchestra: A Tribute to Steve Martland
Nicholas Collon conductor
Colin Currie percussion

Martland Starry Night
Martland Horses of Instruction

Sun 7 Dec 2014
Colin Currie percussion
Tamara Stefanovich piano

Birtwistle The Axe Manual for piano & percussion

Thu 11 Dec 2014
Philharmonia Orchestra
Santtu-Matias Rouvali conductor
Colin Currie percussion

MacMillan Percussion Concerto No.2 (UK premiere)

Recital and chamber projects

Colin Currie Group
Formed in 2006, the Colin Currie Group is an outstanding percussion-based ensemble performing the music of Steve Reich. Endorsed and encouraged by Steve Reich himself, who said of the Group “Another performance that knocked my socks off was Colin Currie and his group doing Drumming at the South Bank this year. It was miked up high, it was expressionist, it was a brand new take. And I thought, Oh, we never could have done it that way.” (Irish Times), in October 2014 the Colin Currie Group premiered a new work by Reich, Quartet for two pianos and two vibraphones.

Highlights of the Colin Currie Group’s 2016/17 season include performances at London’s Southbank Centre, Macau International Music Festival, Cambridge Music Festival, Tokyo Opera City and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
Visit the Group’s full profile here, including programmes and media

Solo Recital
Elliott Carter Figment V
Per Norgaard Fire Over Water
Toshio Hosokawa Reminiscence
Bruno Mantovani Moi, jeu...
Iannis Xenakis Rebonds B
Karlheinz Stockhausen Vibra-Elufa
Rolf Wallin Realismos Mágicos

“Rolling tremolandos gave an effect of aural marbling, with Currie’s dexterity and control of dynamic fluctuation as awe-inspiring as the piece itself.” Times

Colin Currie and Hakan Hardenberger
Trumpet and Percussion Duo
Joe Duddell Catch 10'
Luciano Berio Sequenza for Trumpet 15' (solo trumpet)
Tobias Brostrom Dream Variations 10'
Brett Dean New work 10'
Rolf Wallin Realismos Magicos 15’ (solo marimba)
Lukas Ligeti Tangle 15'

“A breathtaking performance… Both players exhibited stunning virtuosity, though always at the service of musical effect, never for its own sake.” San Francisco Classical Voice

Colin Currie and Nicholas Hodges
Percussion and Piano Duo
Stockhausen Kontakte
Birtwistle The Axe Manual

“The combined genius of pianist Nicholas Hodges and percussionist Colin Currie, armed with a battery of percussion and piano, made thrilling theatre out of it, amplifying the electronic cues with a visceral immediacy that brought every moment to life. The entire presentation was directional, engaging and unquestionable proof that Stockhausen was not only onto something, but way ahead of the game.” Scotsman

Colin Currie and the Miro Quartet
Beethoven String Quartet Op. 95
Pereira Strophe
Torke Mojave
Schubert Quartettsatz in C minor D.703
Wallin Realismos Magicos (solo percussion)
Martland Starry Night

Colin Currie percussion and pianos
with Sam Walton, Simon Crawford-Phillips, Philip Moore
Reich Quartet
Maric Trophic Cascades (two pianos, two percussion)
Bartók Sonata for two Pianos and Percussion

Adams Hallelujah Junction (piano duo)
Reich Quartet (two pianos, two vibraphones)
Wallin Realismos mágicos (solo percussion)
Bartók Sonata for Two Pianos & Percussion

...the work confirms Currie’s status as an athlete and a star, as well as an outstanding musician.

Guardian, December 2014

Currie is riveting to watch as well as hear, his body always tense with concentration. And yet the actual touch is measured and even gentle, each note placed just so.

Daily Telegraph, October 2014

The soloist was Colin Currie, surely the world’s finest and most daring percussionist.

Spectator, August 2013

Intermusica represents Colin Currie worldwide

Catherine Gibbs
Associate Director
+44 20 7608 9946

Maebh Lehane
Assistant Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9924

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