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Colin Currie Group

Ensemble

  • Colin Currie Group is a virtuosic ensemble that specialises in the music of Steve Reich. Their performances of Reich’s music have been hailed by the composer as “the best I’ve ever heard” (Tehillim, Tokyo 2017).

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  • Led by Colin Currie (“the world’s finest and most daring percussionist”, Spectator), the hand-picked group was formed in 2006 for a performance of Drumming at the BBC Proms to celebrate the 70th birthday of Steve Reich. In the subsequent decade, the group have performed Drumming around the world. They have expanded their repertoire to include many of Reich’s most popular works, including Music for 18 Musicians, Sextet, Tehillim and Music for Pieces of Wood and are privileged to have frequently had the composer present when rehearsing and performing these works.

    “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.”
    Steve Reich on the Colin Currie Group, Irish Times, July 2011


    In 2014 the Group premiered Steve Reich’s Quartet (for two pianos and two vibraphones), dedicated by Reich to Colin Currie. Since the premiere at London’s Southbank Centre, the group have given multiple performances of this work, including across the UK, Europe, Asia and America.


    The group’s highly anticipated recording of Drumming will be released on Colin Currie Records in Spring 2018 after a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds, fully supported by Steve Reich who said “it will be, I am sure, the best recording of Drumming ever made”.


    The Colin Currie Group has appeared in concert at major halls and festivals worldwide, having made their international debut at Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall in 2012 and their European debut at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Other highlights have included concerts in the opening season of the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, returning to Tokyo Opera City (March 2017), and performances at Southbank Centre, Paris Cité de la Musique, Cologne Philharmonie, Prague Strings of Autumn Festival, Rotterdam De Doelen, Glasgow Minimal Festival, Helsinki Festival and Macau Festival.

    In the 2017/18 season Colin Currie Group will give three performances of Reich’s music at the Louis Vuitton Fondation, Paris at the request of the composer himself. They will also perform in the UK at London’s Kings Place and return to Saffron Hall.

    October 2017/ 396 words. Not to be altered without permission.

Performances

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Quartet

In October 2014 the Colin Currie Group premiered a new work Quartet by Steve Reich written specially for Currie, and scored for two pianos and two vibraphones. It was co-commissioned by the Southbank Centre, Carnegie Hall, Cite de la Musique and Cologne Philharmonie. The Colin Currie Group have planned more than 15 performances of the piece.


Further details on Quartet can be found at the website of publishers Boosey & Hawkes:


Listen to an audio clip on Soundcloud here


“The melody, touched in delicately by Currie and Sam Walton on vibraphones, seemed to be sung rather than struck. It was like a dancing song of praise, and suddenly we seemed to be somewhere ancient. Then, in the cheerfully dancing final movement, the New York neon lights came back.” Independent, October 2014


“Relaxed, intimate and bittersweet in mood, [Quartet] is a chamber work in essence, written with the kind of egalitarianism between the musicians that we often find in string quartets... The slow central section, with its twisting vibraphone lines and shifting harmonies, is somewhat impressionistic. Rhythmic propulsion in the more dynamic outer movements frequently gives way to block chordal figurations that briefly unite all four players in music of considerable rhythmic complexity.” Guardian, October 2014

Programme suggestions

The Colin Currie Group is a flexible ensemble ranging from 4 to 18 musicians and can offer a wide range of programmes, often collaborating with Synergy Vocals. Below are some examples, which can be interchanged and adapted freely.


Programme 1 (18 musicians)
Reich Music for Pieces of Wood
Reich Quartet (premiered 2014)
interval
Reich Music for 18 Musicians


Programme 2 (6 musicians)
Reich Clapping Music
Reich Sextet
interval
Reich Mallet Quartet
Reich Quartet (premiered 2014)


Programme 3 (12 musicians)
Reich Clapping Music
Reich Mallet Quartet
interval
Reich Drumming


Programme 4 (13 musicians)
Reich Music for Pieces of Wood
Reich Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ
interval
Reich Drumming


Programme 5 (12 musicians)
75 minutes, stand-alone
Reich Drumming


Programme 6 (30 musicians)
Reich Tehillim
interval
Reich Drumming


Other repertoire the group can offer includes:


Reich Violin Phase
Reich Dance Patterns
Reich Cello Phase
Reich Vermont Counterpoint (for flute and backing track)
Reich Double Sextet
Reich Four Organs
Reich Variations for Vibes, Pianos and Strings 

The performances, led by Currie, seemed exemplary. Each performance worked like a well-oiled machine, the players appearing to stroll from one instrument to the next. It’s the musical equivalent of a high-wire act; everyone is striving mightily to seem relaxed, but we know disaster is only one slip away.

Daily Telegraph, October 2014

The performance was technically impeccable and musically overwhelming; richly deserving of the lengthy standing ovation.

Guardian, November 2013

Held together by eye contact, ear contact, intimate understanding of the score and collective breathing, the performance was both aurally and visually exciting – a work of art and also one of craft at its most disciplined and alert.

Independent, February 2010

Intermusica represents Colin Currie Group worldwide

Catherine Gibbs
Associate Director
+44 20 7608 9946
cgibbs@intermusica.co.uk

Kate Caro
Associate Director, Film & Multimedia in Performance
+44 20 7608 9932
kcaro@intermusica.co.uk

If you have any queries, please fill in the form below, and we will be in touch soon

All artists

Special projects

Charles Hazlewood

Nora Fischer

Clarinet

Mark Simpson

Chansonnier

HK Gruber

Counter-tenor

Tim Mead

Rupert Enticknap

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles