Colin Currie Group performs at the Fondation Louis Vuitton's celebration of Steve Reich
The Colin Currie Group travels to Paris to give three performances at the prestigious Fondation Louis Vuitton on 2 and 3 December 2017. At the invitation of the Steve Reich, the Group takes part in a weekend celebration of the composer as part of the Fondation's exhibition, Being Modern: the MoMA in Paris. Reich himself will be present and will take part in a series of talks and performances, including performing Clapping Music with Colin Currie.
The Group’s programmes include Quartet, Drumming, Music for Pieces of Wood, Mallet Quartet, Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ as well as adding Pulse and Proverb to their repertoire (both to be conducted by Colin Currie). They are joined for the concerts by Synergy Vocals.
Other performances for the Group this season include at King's Place in London in January and at Saffron Hall in March.
Colin Currie launches record label & announces debut recording of the Colin Currie Group
Colin Currie has announced the creation of his own record label, beginning with a recording of Steve Reich’s Drumming, released in March 2018. Distributed by LSO Live and its partners worldwide, Colin Currie Records is a platform for the soloist's diverse projects, celebrating the extraordinary developments for percussion music over the past century.
Featuring key percussion repertoire - from solo works and percussion concerti to chamber music and original collaborations - the label will also champion new percussion music by contemporary British composers, reflecting Currie’s longstanding commitment to this area. The first release will be the debut album of the Colin Currie Group, the ensemble founded by Currie to perform the music of Steve Reich. Their recording of Reich’s iconic Drumming was made possible by a crowd-funding campaign which Reich enthusiastically endorsed, saying “it will be, I am sure, the best recording of Drumming ever made.”
Hailed as “the world’s finest and most daring percussionist” (The Spectator), Currie is an exhilarating solo and chamber artist at the peak of his powers. As the driving force behind new percussion music for 20 years, Currie has irreversibly transformed the percussion landscape for soloists, challenging and commissioning today’s foremost composers to write new works.
Currie has had works written for him by composers such as Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, James MacMillan, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Brett Dean, Anna Clyne, Andrew Norman and Julia Wolfe, with future premieres planned of works by Helen Grime, Harrison Birtwistle, Simon Holt and Andy Akiho. Currie’s commitment to commissioning and creating new music was recognised in 2015 by the Royal Philharmonic Society who awarded him the Instrumentalist Award.
Colin Currie comments:
"The percussion world has expanded exponentially, with more opportunities for soloists and young performers than ever before...and the wealth of new music in the past twenty years is staggering. I'm incredibly honoured to play my part in that. It seems a seminal and important moment to capture these remarkable developments on record and I'm very excited about having the chance to curate my own recordings."
London Symphony Orchestra’s label, LSO Live, will support the creation and development of Colin Currie Records and distribution of its recordings. Currie is the first solo artist to partner with LSO Live, following the launch of labels for the Mariinsky Orchestra and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Currie first collaborated with the London Symphony Orchestra aged 15, performing a concerto with the orchestra as Gold medal winner of the Shell LSO Competition. This new partnership will cement their relationship and shared values, including their joint commitment to championing new British music.
Future release plans on Colin Currie Records include a solo recital disc featuring works by Carter, Xenakis, Stockhausen, Hosokawa, Mantovani and Wallin as well as further recordings of Reich’s repertoire with the Colin Currie Group.
Becky Lees, Head of LSO Live, said:
“LSO Live was set up to put artists in control of their recordings. I am delighted that Colin Currie, one of the world’s great percussionists, will become the first solo artist to launch a label through LSO Live, joining our partners The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and the Mariinsky Orchestra. Colin’s commitment to new music chimes well with the Orchestra’s work, making Colin Currie Records an ideal partner for LSO Live at this stage. Having created a successful player-led and owned recording model for the LSO it is wonderful to be able to use our expertise to advise and assist other musicians, in putting themselves in control of the music they record, and making the most of the new ways of reaching audiences in the 21st century.”
Colin Currie Records launches with a concert at London's Kings Place on 20 January 2018, in an all-Steve Reich programme performed by the Colin Currie Group.
Colin Currie Group give sold-out concerts at the Elbphilharmonie's Maximal Minimal Festival
The Colin Currie Group follows its "thrilling" (Times) performance at the Royal Festival with two concerts at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg on 11 and 12 May 2017. The two sold out performances also mark the group's debut at the venue.
The performances are part of the Elbphilharmonie's Maximal Minimal festival, which celebrates the music of composers such as Steve Reich, Michael Gordon, Philip Glass and Terry Riley.
For the first concert on 11 May, the Colin Currie Group performs Music for Pieces of Wood, Sextet and Drumming. On 12 May Colin Currie and Steve Reich perform Clapping Music followed by the Group performing Music for 18 Musicians.
Colin Currie Group performs Tehillim & Drumming at Royal Festival Hall as part of International Chamber Music Series
The Colin Currie Group returns to the Royal Festival Hall on 5 May 2o17 as part of the Southbank Centre’s International Chamber Music Series 2016/17.
They will perform Steve Reich’s Drumming and Tehillim. When the group performed Drumming at the Southbank Centre in 2011, Reich commented “Another performance that knocked my socks off was Colin Currie and his group doing Drumming at the South Bank [in London] 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).
The concert follows two sold-out performances in Toyko Opera City Concert Hall in March, and following their performance in London they travel to Hamburg to give two sold-out performances as part of the opening season of the new Elbphilharmonie.
Tehillim (1981), is the setting of four Hebrew Psalm texts scored for a mixed ensemble comprised of six percussionists, four women’s voices, woodwinds, electric organs and strings. The Colin Currie Group will be joined by Synergy Vocals for what Colin describes is “A Hallelujah chorus like no other.” Steve Reich described the Group’s performance of Tehillim in Tokyo as “the best performance I ever heard”.
Colin Currie Group achieve target for Drumming fundraising campaign
The Colin Currie Group have achieved the target on their first crowdfunding campaign, raising over £14,500 to record Steve Reich Drumming with five days to spare. The piece was the first work ever performed by the group; Steve Reich himself recently said that the recording "will be, I am sure, the best recording of Drumming ever made."
Writing on the Kickstarter page, the group thanked the backers of the campaign:
"Thank you for being a part of our success. Together, we'll make an amazing recording."
The Kickstarter runs until 12 April and there are still great rewards available to backers – click here to visit the page for more details. The Colin Currie Group has the team lined up, a venue confirmed and administrative costs covered, so all funds raised on Kickstarter will go directly towards recording the music.
Colin Currie Group launches Kickstarter campaign to record Drumming
Today, 22 March 2017, the Colin Currie Group launches its first ever crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise money to record Steve Reich’s Drumming. Reich himself said, at the group’s Tokyo concerts in March 2017, that “it will be, I am sure, the best recording of Drumming ever made”.
The work was the first ever performed by the Colin Currie Group and, ten years later, remains a foundation of their repertoire. Steve Reich has been incredibly supportive of the group’s performances of his music and this is a chance for them to create the best possible recording of one of the great works of the 20th Century. After the group’s performance of Drumming in 2010, Reich said:
“I just want to say to everybody that I think [Colin Currie] has taken this piece and the incredible musicians you heard tonight – into another generation, yes – but beyond that into a finer level of performance, and has opened it up to me as a kind of revelation, and I want to thank him.”
The Colin Currie Group has the team lined up, a venue confirmed and administrative costs covered, so all funds raised on Kickstarter will go directly towards recording the music. Rewards will be offered to supporters of the campaign: visit the Kickstarter page for more details.
The campaign will run for three weeks, until 12 April, with the aim of raising £14,500. Without the full total, the recording won’t be possible so please share the page and, if you can, donate!
Colin Currie Group performs Reich's Tehillim for first time in two sold-out concerts in Tokyo
The Colin Currie Group travels to Japan this month for two sold-out concerts at Tokyo Opera City on 1 and 2 March 2017.
The group performs Steve Reich Tehillim as part of a worldwide celebration of the composer's music and his 80th birthday. The concerts also feature the Japanese premiere of Quartet, which was written for Currie, while Reich himself joins Currie to perform Clapping Music.
The group performs Tehillim again in May at the Royal Festival Hall in London as part of the International Chamber Music Festival.
Members of the Colin Currie Group lead a Reich Day at Wells Cathedral School’s Cedars Hall
On 19 November members of the Colin Currie Group will lead a Reich Day at Wells Cathedral School’s Cedars Hall as part of the new hall’s opening season programme.
Colin Currie, Adrian Spillett, Owen Gunnell and Sam Walton will join young percussion students from the specialist music school in an in depth exploration of the works of Steve Reich. The morning’s workshops will be followed by a performance that afternoon featuring Clapping Music, Nagoya Marimbas, Music for Pieces of Wood, Mallet Quartet and Drumming Part 1.
The Reich Day will be preceded the previous night by Currie performing a solo recital at Cedars Hall. Currie will perform his new recital programme, launched last June, which includes Elliot Carter Figment V, Mantovani Moi, jeu and Xenakis Rebonds B.
Colin Currie Group brings Music for 18 Musicians to Cambridge Music Festival
The Colin Currie Group makes its debut at Cambridge Music Festival on 8 November 2016 with a performance featuring Steve Reich Music for 18 Musicians. The concert follows the group's sold-out debut at Macau International Music Festival in October.
Prior to the concert at Cambridge Corn Exchange, Steve Reich joins Colin Currie in a pre-performance talk at The Guildhall, Cambridge, featuring discussion and performance of his music. Reich then joins Currie to open the concert with Clapping Music, after which the Colin Currie Group performs Music for Pieces of Wood, Mallet Quartet and Steve Reich’s seminal piece Music for 18 Musicians.
Later in the 2016-17 season, the Colin Currie Group returns to the Southbank Centre and Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall for performances of Steve Reich Tehillim and also gives two concerts at the new Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.
Colin Currie Group debuts at the 30th Macau International Music Festival
Colin Currie Group debuts at the 30th Macau International Music Festival on 7 October 2016, performing music by Steve Reich in the same week as the composer’s 80th birthday.
The performance at Macau Cultural Centre includes Music for Pieces of Wood, Mallet Quartet and Drumming and sold out months in advance.
Whilst in Macau, Colin Currie also gives a masterclass to local percussion students and a presentation on the music of Steve Reich as part of the festival’s outreach programme.
The performance in Macau begins a busy 16/17 season for the group which also includes returns to Tokyo and London, performances at the newly opened Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and at Cambridge Music Festival. The Group has also expanded their repertoire with the addition of Steve Reich’s Tehillim.
Colin Currie Group sells out performances in London & Rotterdam
Colin Currie Group gave sold out performances in London and Rotterdam on 24 and 26 May, with all performances met with critical acclaim. Over the course of three days, the group performed at the Royal Festival Hall followed by two performances at the Laurenskerk in Rotterdam. Currie and group member Owen Gunnell then went onto Musik im Riesen in Innsbruck to perform in Drumming and lead masterclasses.
The group played Music for 18 Musicians in London and Rotterdam, with Mallet Quartet and Quartet added to the programme in London. They have also just recorded Quartet, overseen by Reich himself, for future release on Nonesuch Records.
Read the reviews from London and take a look at some photos below:
“The Colin Currie Group and Synergy Vocals delivered in spades. Their knowledge and understanding of Reich's music as well as their dedication and enthusiasm was evident in this mesmerising performance of three totally absorbing pieces, each different in scale and tone.”
Bachtrack, five stars, May 2016
"The joy here was the sense of communion between the visibly enthused performers and a beaming audience high on hypnotic percussion"
Times, May 2016
Colin Currie Group returns to Royal Festival Hall for Music for Eighteen 18 Musicians
The Colin Currie Group return to London on 24 May 2016 to celebrate Steve Reich’s 80th birthday with a performance at Royal Festival Hall as part of Southbank Centre’s International Chamber Music Series. The group performs a programme of Music for 18 Musicians, Mallet Quartet and Quartet.
The group then travels to Rotterdam where to give two performances of Music for 18 Musicians in collaboration with De Doelen at Laurenskerk on 26 May at 8 and 10 PM.
Elsewhere this month Colin Currie appears with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra in Rovaniemi on 6 and 7 May and Orchestre de Picardie in Amiens and Soissons on 19 and 20 May. He then travels to Ottawa for concerts at Canada’s National Arts Centre with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Intermusica leads eight major Asia tours in 2016
Intermusica will take eight world-class ensembles to Asia in 2016 in a year of ground-breaking firsts. Watch our video below to find out more.
Academy of Ancient Music
- Conducted by Richard Egarr
- First British orchestra to play in Prince Mahidol Hall, Bangkok
- Marking 275th anniversary of Vivaldi’s death
Budapest Festival Orchestra
- Conducted by Iván Fischer with soloist Ning Feng
- BFO’s debut in Xi’an, the ancient capital of China
- Chinese premiere of Dutilleux’s L’arbre des songes
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
- Choir’s debut in Nanjing and Tianjin and fourth Intermusica tour to China
- Opening Beijing NCPA’s International Chorus Festival
Colin Currie Group
- Group's Macau debut
- Celebrating Steve Reich’s 80th birthday year
- Debut of Steve Reich's music at Macu International Music Festival
- Conducted by Sir Mark Elder
- Hallé's debut in Wuhan and Shanghai
- First British orchestra to collaborate with Chinese choruses in the Chinese premiere of William Walton’s Henry V
- Conducted by Andrew Manze
- UNESCO World Cities of Music collaboration with Tongyeong
- Sir Andras Schiff’s debut concerto tour of China
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
- Conducted by Osmo Vänskä with soloist Renaud Capuçon
- OSR's debut in India
The English Concert
- With soloists Tim Mead and Mary Bevan
- ‘Shakespeare in Love’: a concept designed by Intermusica in collaboration with The English Concert to celebrate Shakespeare 400
- The English Concert’s debut in Wuhan, Shanghai and Beijing
Just announced: Colin Currie Group to perform Tehillim in Tokyo & London
Colin Currie Group will perform Reich’s Tehillim during the 2016/17 season at Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall on 1 and 2 March 2017, and at the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre, London, on 5 May 2017. For all three concerts the group is joined by Synergy Vocals.
The concerts mark an important new piece of repertoire; the Tokyo concerts will be the first time the group has performed Tehillim. Reich composed the piece in 1981 for six percussionists, four women’s voices, woodwinds, electric organs and strings. A setting of four Hebrew Psalm texts, the London performance will be part of the Southbank Centre’s Belief and Beyond Belief festival exploring religion, community and worship.
It also marks the group’s return to Japan, following their debut there in December 2012.
Colin Currie Group makes Helsinki Festival Debut
The Colin Currie Group makes its debut at the Helsinki Festival on 19 August 2015 with an all-Reich programme, featuring Colin Currie and Steve Reich performing Clapping Music and the group giving the Finnish premiere of Quartet.
The Helsinki Festival continues its tradition of showcasing prominent contemporary composers with this all-Reich programme that sees members of the group collaborating with Avanti! Chamber Orchestra to perform Steve Reich’s Radio Rewrite. The concert also features the group performing Sextet and Avanti! performing Pendulum Music, Reich’s 1968 composition for microphones and speakers.
The group has enjoyed a busy 2014/15 season, including a five-concert tour of The Netherlands, performances of Music for 18 Musicians at Saffron Hall and Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, performances of Drumming in Paris and Prague and the world and regional premieres of Steve Reich’s work composed for the group, Quartet.
Colin Currie Group: UK tour reviews
The Colin Currie Group received some excellent reviews for its recent UK tour of concerts in Glasgow, Saffron Hall and Cardiff. The group played a range of programmes, performing Reich Music for 18 Musicians in Glasgow and at Saffron Hall, and a chamber-sized programme of Reich's music in Cardiff.
Read the reviews below:
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall / Music for 18 Musicians
"A shimmering wash of sound in this mesmerising performance. The ensemble drew the listener in completely to Reich's exquisitely ethereal soundscape."
Herald, May 2015
Saint David's Hall, Cardiff / Clapping Music, Sextet, Mallet Quartet & Quartet
“Reich has endorsed the Colin Currie Group personally, honouring their leader as the man to take his music to the next generations. Currie is perfectly in tune with the simple complexities of Reich’s ideas – he is, in fact, as in step with Reich as he is with his accompanists. Throughout the 90 minute performance Reich is not just the source of the music; he is the seventh band member, as good as there, inflecting each perfect stroke with his affable influence.”
Wales Arts Review, May 2015
Colin Currie Group return to UK for three-date tour
After a successful tour of the Netherlands earlier in April, the Colin Currie Group returns to the UK for three concerts of music by Steve Reich. The group’s first stop will be at Saffron Hall performing Music for 18 Musicians on 26 April 2015, followed by Saint David’s Hall in Cardiff on the 1 May, this time in a smaller chamber-sized formation including Quartet and Sextet.
Next they appear as part of Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall’s Minimal weekend with another performance of Music for 18 Musicians on 3 May as well as the Scottish premiere of Quartet.
Colin Currie Group: five-concert tour to the Netherlands
April sees the Colin Currie Group embark on a five-concert tour of the Netherlands. The first performance take place on 8 April at De Doelen Rotterdam, where Colin Currie is Red Sofa Artist in Residence, and includes the Dutch premiere of Reich’s Quartet. The following days will see performances in Nijmegen, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, Tilburg and Middelburg – click here for full information on the tour.
The group performs programmes of music by Steve Reich, including his Music for Pieces of Wood, Sextet, Mallet Quartet and Quartet and offers new repertoire at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam as part of the World Minimal Festival. Here the group tackles Crumb Music for a Summer Evening as well as Terry Riley The Heaven Ladder Book 5: 1.Cinco de Mayo and Reich Quartet.
Colin Currie gives US and Paris premieres of Steve Reich’s Quartet
Colin Currie gives the US premiere of Steve Reich's Quartet at Carnegie Hall as part of an all-Reich programme on 29 October, where Currie, Steve Reich and pianists Simon Crawford-Phillips and Philip Moore will be joined by American percussionist Dan Druckman. Currie and Druckman also join Julliard students in a performance of Reich’s seminal work Drumming. This is followed by the Paris premiere of Quartet on 8 November at Cité de la Musique by the Colin Currie Group in an all-Reich programme completed by Mallet Quartet and Drumming.
Quartet was co-commissioned by Southbank Centre, Carnegie Hall, the Julliard School, Cité de la Musique and Kölner Philharmonie / KölnMusik, and Reich has dedicated Quartet to Currie:
"The piece is dedicated to Colin Currie, a percussionist who has broken the mould by maintaining his solo career with orchestras and recitals and also, quite amazingly, by founding the Colin Currie Group which plays whatever ensemble music he believes in. I salute him and hope others will take note."
The Colin Currie Group gave the world premiere of Quartet on 12 October in a highly-praised concert that also saw Currie joined by Reich to perform Clapping Music and a performance of Sextet.