Intermusica Artists' Management

 

 

Intermusica represents Colin Currie worldwide.

Manager:
Catherine Gibbs

Assistant to Artist Manager:
Caroline Gibbs

Other Links:

Colin Currie's website

Colin Currie on Onyx Classics

Follow Colin Currie on Twitter

Colin Currie's YouTube channel

Colin Currie

Percussion

Recognised for his “athletic percussionism, compulsive showmanship and deep musicality” (Guardian), 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.

From his earliest years Currie forged a pioneering path in creating new music for percussion. He was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award in 2000 for his inspirational role in contemporary music-making and received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2005. Currie has premiered works by composers such as Elliott Carter, Louis Andriessen, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Jennifer Higdon, Kalevi Aho, Rolf Wallin, Kurt Schwertsik, Simon Holt, Alexander Goehr, Dave Maric, Julia Wolfe and Nico Muhly. Looking ahead, in the coming seasons Currie will premiere new works by Steve Reich, James MacMillan, Anna Clyne, HK Gruber, Andrew Norman and Brett Dean.

Currie is Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre where in autumn 2014 he is the focus of a major percussion festival, Metal Wood Skin,  featuring a number of premieres. The festival includes the world premiere of Steve Reich’s Quartet for two pianos and two vibraphones with the Colin Currie Group, the world premiere of Anna Clyne’s Secret Garden for solo percussion, the UK premiere of James MacMillan’s Percussion Concerto No.2 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the UK premiere of Louis Andriessen’s Tapdance. Other highlights include Julia Wolfe’s concerto riSE and fLY with the Youth Orchestra of Bahia, a tribute concert in memory of Steve Martland with the Aurora Orchestra, Birtwistle’s The Axe Manual with Tamara Stefanovich, a solo percussion recital for school children, The Big Percussion Workshop Day and foyer performances with percussion students from London conservatoires.

Across the 2014/15 season Currie will also be Red Sofa Artist at Rotterdam’s De Doelen. The season-long residency includes performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the world premiere of a new work for two percussion and two pianos by Dave Maric, a Reich programme with the Colin Currie Group, a solo recital and collaborations with Rotterdam Philharmonic percussionists, De Doelen Kwartet and the Codarts conservatoire ensemble.

Other highlights of the 2014/15 season include concerto performances with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Sydney Symphony, Taipei Symphony, Nuremburg Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Columbus Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Albany Symphony. Recital and chamber music appearances include at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Montreux Festival, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, NCPA Beijing, Sound Festival Aberdeen, Cardiff, Miami and Columbus.

Currie’s dynamic percussion 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, followed by sell-out performances at London’s Southbank Centre. 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 UK venues and festivals and internationally at Tokyo Opera City and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. In November 2013 the group gave its first performance of Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians in a sold-out Royal Festival Hall in the presence of the composer; the performance was lauded as “technically impeccable and musically overwhelming” (Guardian). In autumn 2014, the Colin Currie Group returns to Southbank Centre to premiere a new work, Quartet, by Reich, followed by a busy season of touring including Paris, Cologne, Prague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and across the Netherlands, Ghent, Glasgow, Saffron Hall and Cardiff.

Currie has recorded many concerto, recital and chamber works including most recently Alexander Goehr’s Since Brass, nor Stone released on NMC in September 2013. 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 Simon Holt’s concerto a table of noises with The Hallé to be released by NMC in 2015.

www.colincurrie.com

Colin Currie plays Zildjan cymbals and is a MarimbaOne Artist.
Colin Currie is represented by Intermusica.
Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.

2014/15 season / 683 words. We update our biographies regularly. Please contact us if this biography is out of date.


Concerto Repertoire

Highlights include concerti by Elliott Carter, James MacMillan, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Jennifer Higdon, Simon Holt, HK Gruber, Kurt Schwertsik and Christopher Rouse. Click here for audio, video, press materials and further information on these works.

*possible for chamber orchestra 

KALEVI AHO Sieidi
Audio clip, reviews and further details
LOUIS ANDRIESSEN   Tapdance
SALLY BEAMISH Dance Variations*
ELLIOTT CARTER Two Controversies and a Conversation 
Audio clip, reviews and further details
UNSUK CHIN Double Concerto (piano & percussion with mixed ensemble)*
JOHN CORIGLIANO Conjurer*
MICHAEL DAUGHERTY U.F.O
JOE DUDDELL Snowblind (with string ensemble)*
Ruby
TAN DUN Concerto for Water Percussion
HK GRUBER Into the open...
Rough Music
Audio clip, reviews and further details
JONATHAN HARVEY Percussion Concerto
JENNIFER HIGDON Percussion Concerto
Audio clip, reviews and further details
SIMON HOLT a table of noises
Audio clip, reviews and further details
ANDRE JOLIVET Concerto for Percussion
ZHOU LONG Da Qu
STEVEN MACKEY Time Release*
JAMES MACMILLAN Percussion Concerto No. 2
Veni, Veni Emmanuel*
Audio clip, reviews and further details
DAVE MARIC Lifetimes (with string ensemble)*
Towards Future's Embrace*
ASKELL MASSON Crossings (concerto for two percussionists)
Percussion Concerto
THEA MUSGRAVE Wood, Metal & Skin
NICO MUHLY Double Standard (Concerto for two percussionists)
ANDREW NORMAN Switch
EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA Incantations
Audio clip, reviews and further details
JOEY ROUKENS Rotterdam Concerto
CHRISTOPHER ROUSE Der gerettete Alberich
Audio clip, reviews and further details
KURT SCHWERTSIK Now you hear me, now you don't (with string ensemble)
Audio clip, reviews and further details
BRIGHT SHENG Colors of Crimson (concerto for marimba)
MICHAEL TORKE Rapture
GEORGE TSONTAKIS Mirologhia
ERKKI-SVEN TÜÜR Magma*
JULIA WOLFE riSE and fLY
IANNIS XENAKIS Aïs (baritone, percussion and orchestra)

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Conductor relationships

Marin Alsop, Andrey Boreyko, Dougie Boyd, Martyn Brabbins, Baldur Brönnimann, Tan Dun, Christoph Eschenbach, Thierry Fischer, James Gaffigan, HK Gruber, Giancarlo Guerrero, Pietari Inkinen, Kristjan Järvi, Oliver Knussen, Hannu Lintu, James MacMillan, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, 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


Solo Recital

An adventurous percussion recital featuring an international line-up of composers performed on marimba, vibraphone and drums. Highlights of Colin Currie's solo recital performances include at the Lucerne Festival, Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, Wiener Konzerthaus etc.

Elliott Carter Figment V
Per Norgaard Fire over Water
Toshio Hosokawa Reminiscence
Bruno Mantovani Moi, jeu ...
Interval
Dave Maric Sense and Innocence
Joseph Pereira Word of Mouth II
Rolf Wallin Realismos Magicos

The new work by Rolf Wallin is premiered in 2014 and commissioned by Wigmore Hall, Bergen Festival and Sound Festival. This programme is available throughout the 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons.

“The glory of the evening was the world premiere of a piece for marimba by Rolf Wallin… They are, indeed, irresistible. Eyes of a Blue Dog drew forth crystals of sound-cluster, flashing from the beaters as they twirled tight and close. A tiny, fleeting heat-haze of harmony of Miss Forbes’s Summer of Happiness; repeated notes reverberating full fathom five for The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World; and a thrumming, poised for lift-off, for a Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. This marvellous new edition to the repertoire had been preceded by the world premiere of a new version of Joseph Pereira’s Word of Mouth. Four dry drums and four resonant skins set hands and beaters fluttering, nerves tingling, as the simplest material was endlessly varied and transformed.

The first half of the evening had been presented as a continuum of fascinating shorter pieces, beginning and ending with Elliot Carters’s late and wonderfully playful two-minute marimba toy, Figment V. And my favourite, after the Wallin was Reminiscence, an exquisite 12-minute slow movement for marimba by Toshio Hosokawa. Rolling tremolados gave an effect of aural marbling, with Currie’s dexterity and control of dynamic fluctuation as awe-inspiring as the piece itself.”
Times, April 2014

“A short first half brought a selection of four wildly varied works played without a break, ranging from Elliott Carter’s Figment V, a playful set of variations for marimba written in 2009, to Toshio Hosokawa’s beguiling and atmospheric Reminiscence from 2002. As far as one could see, Currie played this virtuoso half-hour of music on instruments from tom-toms to south Asian temple blocks from memory…. Currie’s virtuosity energised all and the young audience was hugely enthusiastic.”
Financial Times, April 2014

“Colin Currie is a musician first and a percussionist second…The instruments were played with a wonderful range of touch….A marvellous concert which got the South Bank Centre’s Rhythm Sticks festival off to a flying start”
Daily Telegraph, July 2002

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Family concerts, Education and outreach events

Currie is actively involved in education work, as Visiting Professor of Percussion at London’s Royal Academy of Music and at the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague. He regularly leads master classes, workshops and family concerts as stand alone events or connected to engagements, and is happy to take part in talks or other events.

Family concert programme
His solo family concerts are designed to introduce percussion to a young audience in a fun and engaging way, with on-stage participation and audience involvement throughout. The mixed programme has music from around the world including works influenced by Africa, Brazil, Japan and Indonesia:

Matthias Schmitt Ghanaia
Steve Reich Nagoya Marimbas
Per Norgaard 'Fire over Water' from I Ching
Steve Reich Clapping Music
Dave Maric Trilogy (Tamboo)

“The festival billed the event as a family concert in the mid-afternoon, and attracted a huge audience that included family groups and youngsters of every age. Was this audience intimidated or put off by the uncompromising music they faced? No way. Currie, completely unfazed by what must have been his youngest- ever audience turned the situation to his advantage, inviting groups of kids onto the floor to lay into his battery of drums by way of an introduction to the music of Per Norgard.”
Glasgow Herald
reviews family concert at St Magnus Festival, June 2002

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Colin Currie Group – Steve Reich

The Colin Currie Group was formed to perform Steve Reich’s iconic Drumming at the 2006 BBC Proms, a work which has built a huge following with audiences around the world. The group now performs many of Reich’s large and small ensemble works involving percussion, including Music for Eighteen Musicians and a newly commissioned work to be premiered in 2014. Led by Colin Currie, this dynamic group of virtuoso young percussionists, in collaboration with Synergy Vocals, has given sell-out performances at the Royal Festival Hall and performed across the UK and internationally including at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Tokyo Opera City. Future plans include performances at the Southbank Centre, Cologne Philharmonie, Cite de la Musique Paris, Rotterdam de Doelen and Glasgow Royal Concert Halls.

Click here to watch a short film of The Colin Currie Group performing Steve Reich's Drumming.

Programme 1 (18 musicians)
Steve Reich Sextet
Steve Reich Quartet (premiere 2014)
Steve Reich Music for 18 Musicians

Programme 2 (14 musicians)
Steve Reich Clapping Music
Steve Reich Nagoya Marimbas
Steve Reich Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ
Steve Reich Drumming

Programme 3 (13 musicians) - 75 minutes
Steve Reich Drumming

Programme 4 (6 musicians)
Steve Reich Clapping Music
Steve Reich Sextet
Steve Reich Mallet Quartet
Steve Reich Quartet (premiere 2014)

“Reich's Music for 18 Musicians rarely comes better presented than it was by the Colin Currie Group... The performance was technically impeccable and musically overwhelming; richly deserving of the lengthy standing ovation.”
Guardian, November 2013

“Reich launched his concert by humbly playing secondo to Colin Currie’s lead in “Clapping Music”, after which Currie and his chamber group gave scintillating performances of three Reich classics, culminating in a magnificent account of his chef d’oeuvre, Music for 18 Musicians. And for that the Festival Hall acoustic was perfect, allowing it to create the impression of a complex mobile gracefully turning, in which each musician played an independent and eloquent part. It was one thing and many things, simultaneously static and bursting with event: a joyful conundrum.”
Independent, 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.”
The Independent, February 2010

“On Saturday night a new generation of musicians resurrected Drumming and brought it to Perth for a wholly different -and staggering -musical experience... Colin Currie put together an elite team of top UK percussionists and led them in a stunning, dramatic version of Drumming... young, fit, lean, fantastically musical and mind-bogglingly virtuosic. In their hands, Drumming was a continuum in four parts. This had direction, powering through the multi-bongo first section, beguiling the senses with the marimba marathon of the second, piercing the brain with the golden rainburst of glockenspiels in the third and culminating in an apocalyptic fourth section with everybody piling in.”
Glasgow Herald, April 2008

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Duo recital with Hakan Hardenberger

Colin Currie and Håkan Hardenberger’s outstanding duo collaboration connects two artists with a passion for dynamic new music and for performance at the highest level. Their charismatic stage presence displays a visible enjoyment of the music, matched by virtuosity and drama in equal measure. The relationship has already given birth to several specially commissioned new works.

Performances include at the Verbier Festival, London’s LSO St Lukes, San Francisco, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Hamburg Musikhalle, Hannover, Bruges and Birmingham.

Click here to watch Currie in recital with Hakan Hardenberger.

Programme:
Andre Jolivet Heptade
Christian Muthspiel To and Fro
Lukas Ligeti Tangle
---Interval---
Joe Duddell Catch
Tobias Broström Dream Variations
Brett Dean new work (2015)

“A breathtaking performance… Both players exhibited stunning virtuosity, though always at the service of musical effect, never for its own sake… These players had absolute command over their instruments. There was no gap between what they wanted to express and what they were technically capable of expressing.”
San Francisco Classical Voice, January 2008

“Hardenberger's style, generating tremendous emotions out of stillness, is the perfect dramatic foil for Currie's overt dynamism. The percussion layout resembled an altar, turning Currie into the celebrant of some arcane ritual; he goaded Hardenberger into a series of stylised responses, by turns ululating and ecstatic. Enthralling stuff, every second of it.”
The Guardian, February 2007

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String Quartet and Percussion

Pavel Haas Quartet and Colin Currie:

Colin Currie regularly performs with the Pavel Haas Quartet in a programme including Pavel Haas String Quartet No.2, a new work by Alexander Goehr and a commission for 11/12; performances at the City of London Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Prague Festival and BBC Proms.

Miró Quartet and Colin Currie:

Click here to listen to Colin Currie and the Miró Quartet perform Run Chime for String Quartet and Percussion by Dave Maric and Since Brass, nor stone… Fantasy for String Quartet and Percussion by Alexander Goehr.

Programme (2015/16 season in Europe):
Franz Schubert Quartettsatz in C minor D703
Steve Reich Nagoya Marimbas
Alexander Goehr Since Brass, nor Stone...
Michael Torke Mojave
--Interval--
Samuel Barber Adagio for Strings
Joseph Pereira Strophe
Steve Martland Starry Night


Percussion-Piano Quartet

Programme (from 2015/16 season):

Steve Reich Quartet (premiere 2014)
Dave Maric New work for 2 pianos, 2 percussionists (premiere 2015)
--Interval--
Bela Bartók Sonata for two Pianos and Percussion

Colin Currie, Sam Walton (percussion), Phillip Moore, Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano)


Duo recital with Nicholas Hodges

Programme Includes Birtwistle The Axe Manual, Stockhausen Kontakte and Joe Duddell Parallel Lines – performances have included at Settembre Musica festival in Turin and Milan, and at the BBC Proms and the Wigmore Hall.

BBC Proms / Stockhausen Kontakte
“More striking was the 1960 work Kontakte, in which two virtuosos - the pianist Nicolas Hodges and the percussionist Colin Currie - provided a heroic live counterpoint to a cataclysmic recording. The spectacle of both players striding purposefully across the platform to thwack two huge gongs in perfect synchronicity with the electronic blitz has to be one of this Proms season's great moments.”
The Times, August 2008

“Another pioneering work, Kontakte, from 1961, in which electronic sounds are set against piano and percussion, was superbly delivered by Nicolas Hodges and Colin Currie…”
The Guardian, August 2008

“… it was the intricacy of Kontakte that pianist Nicolas Hodges, percussionist Colin Currie and sound projectionist Bryan Wolf revealed in their finely realised account.”
Independent on Sunday, August 2008

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James MacMillan Veni, Veni, Emmanuel
Colin Currie, percussion
Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
James MacMillan, conductor
CC 72540
Einojuhani Rautavaara Incantations
(World Première recording)
Colin Currie, percussion
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
John Storgårds, conductor
ODE 1178-2
Gramophone Award winner
Jennifer Higdon Percussion Concerto
(European première performance / Première recording)
Colin Currie, percussion
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor
LPO - 0035
Grammy Award winner
Dave Maric Borrowed Time
Music for solo percussion by Dave Maric, with works for:
Solo percussion; Percussion and electronics;
Percussion and piano – with Dave Maric, piano;
Percussion and trumpet – with Hakan Hardenberger;
Percussion duo – with Sam Walton;
Percussion and organ – with Clive Driskell-Smith.
Onyx
ONYX4024
Pavel Haas String Quartet No.2, Op.7 'From the Monkey Mountains'
Colin Currie, percussion
Pavel Haas Quartet
Supraphon SU38772
James MacMillan
Veni, Veni Emmanuel (percussion concerto)
Colin Currie, percussion
Ulster Orchestra
Takuo Yuasa, conductor
Naxos 8.554167
Michael Torke Rapture (percussion concerto)
Colin Currie, percussion
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor
Naxos 8.559167
Various composers
Viktoria Mullova: Through the Looking Glass
Viktoria Mullova, violin
Matthew Barley, cello
Julian Joseph, piano
Steve Smith, guitar
Colin Currie, percussion
Paul Clarvis, percussion
Sam Walton, percussion
Including works by George Harrison, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington, Bee Gees, Weather Report, Youssou N’Dour, arr. Matthew Barley
Philips 464 184-2
Various composers
LAGQ Spin
Colin Currie, percussion
Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Includes works by Joe Duddell, Steven Mackey, William Kanengiser, Andrew York
Telarc-CD-80647
Various composers
Striking a Balance: Contemporary Percussion Music
Solo recital disc
Includes works by Chick Corea, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Maurice Ravel, Ney Rosauro, Alan Emslie, Markus Halt, J.S. Bach, Steve Reich, Richard Michael
Colin Currie, percussion
Sam Walton, marimba
Robin Michael, piano
EMI Debut CDZ 5 72267 2
George Tsontakis Mirologhia
Colin Currie, percussion
Albany Symphony Orchestra
David Allen Miller, conductor
Koch International Cl
B001EQP9XW

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Colin Currie gives world premiere of Louis Andriessen’s Tapdance with Asko|Schonberg at Amsterdam Concertgebouw
“Composer Louis Andriessen can look back with pleasure at the impressive premiere of Tapdance, written for his upcoming 75th birthday on June 6th. The Asko|Schonberg ensemble was augmented for the occasion with bass guitar, a saxophone section and drumkit. British percussionist Colin Currie enters the stage without physical dance pyrotechnics but suggests tap sounds with sticks and thimbles on a wooden plank. The element of dance is important but is only a thin covering to mask the nearby looming descent.

It becomes immediately clear to the listener that the 15-minute piece is about more than performance virtuosity. Traversing the introduction from pianists Pauline Post and Gerard Bouwhuis are delicate moments for the woodwinds and harp that culminate in an almost primal scream.

A swinging dance section follows with brass and bass guitar and Currie’s accented dance solo is the perfect foil, but soon trumpets announce impending calamity. Currie walks slowly from his tap instrument to the marimba and the feeling changes instantly. His solo performance is unaccompanied.

The music’s last section also contains an element of theatrical slow-motion. A single timpanum is placed stage left and Currie, using the foot pedal, resolutely changes the drum’s pitches in a gripping duet with fellow percussionists. The work concludes with slow, calamitous sounding tympanum strokes and a brief reference to the big band era when tap dancers were in vogue. The end is as lonely as a life that ceases to exist.”
De Volkskrant, May 2014

Colin Currie performs James MacMillan’s Veni, Veni Emmanuel with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by John Storgards
“The orchestra sounded like a different band, though, in James MacMillan’s hectic percussion concerto Veni, veni, Emmanuel, which crackled with barely controlled energy as church plainsong fragments rang out from within the composer’s kaleidoscopic textures. Darting from one instrument to another, Colin Currie was an athletic and superbly agile soloist, lyrical on a marimba and thrillingly raucous on drums and cymbals. And the concerto’s radiant conclusion, with orchestra members gently striking miniature chimes while Currie intoned a plainsong melody on huge tubular bells, was spellbinding.”
Scotsman, April 2014

“James MacMillan's Veni Veni Emmanuel, more than 500 performances on from its 1992 premiere, which I was at, is another miracle, with the magician percussionist Colin Currie, who has every nuance of the piece in his DNA, clocking up his 120th-plus performance of one of the greatest inspirations to any composer in the past century.”
Herald Scotland, April 2014

Colin Currie performs solo recital at Wigmore Hall
“A short first half brought a selection of four wildly varied works played without a break, ranging from Elliott Carter’s Figment V, a playful set of variations for marimba written in 2009, to Toshio Hosokawa’s beguiling and atmospheric Reminiscence from 2002. As far as one could see, Currie played this virtuoso half-hour of music on instruments from tom-toms to south Asian temple blocks from memory.

The second half moved on to a trio of premieres. Of these, the most all-embracing was Dave Maric’s Sense and Innocence, in a new version, which employs an array of instruments (bowed crotales, vibraphone, cowbell, cymbals) and accompanying electronic background to create an atmospheric sound-world of multiple layers. Joseph Pereira’s Word of Mouth II for solo drums focused more intently on rhythm and texture. Rolf Wallin’s Realismos mágicos, a Wigmore co-commission, is a collection of 11 short stories recounted in the subtlest tones on the marimba, each highly poetic... Currie’s virtuosity energised all and the young audience was hugely enthusiastic.”
Financial Times, April 2014

“The glory of the evening was the world premiere of a piece for marimba by Rolf Wallin. Realismos Mágicos (11 short stories) was a co-commission by Wigmore Hall with Bergen Festival and Scotland’s Sound Festival. It wasn’t the stories of Gabriel García Márquez that inspired the Norwegian composer, but their titles alone. They are, indeed, irresistible. Eyes of a Blue Dog drew forth crystals of sound-cluster, flashing from the beaters as they twirled tight and close. A tiny, fleeting heat-haze of harmony of Miss Forbes’s Summer of Happiness; repeated notes reverberating full fathom five for The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World; and a thrumming, poised for lift-off, for a Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. This marvellous new edition to the repertoire had been preceded by the world premiere of a new version of Joseph Pereira’s Word of Mouth. Four dry drums and four resonant skins set hands and beaters fluttering, nerves tingling, as the simplest material was endlessly varied and transformed.

The first half of the evening had been presented as a continuum of fascinating shorter pieces, beginning and ending with Elliot Carters’s late and wonderfully playful two-minute marimba toy, Figment V. And my favourite, after the Wallin was Reminiscence, an exquisite 12-minute slow movement for marimba by Toshio Hosokawa. Rolling tremolados gave an effect of aural marbling, with Currie’s dexterity and control of dynamic fluctuation as awe-inspiring as the piece itself.”
Times, April 2014

Colin Currie performs Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero
“The concert’s first half featured percussion virtuoso Colin Currie as soloist in Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto. Currie’s deft articulation and sheer speed on marimba, vibraphone, woodblocks and trap set were displayed with showmanship and panache, the long cadenza evoking a jazz drummer in a big band at full tilt.”
South Florida Classical Review, March 2014

Colin Currie performs James MacMillan’s Veni, Veni Emmanuel with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christoph König
“It was an awesome demonstration – virtuosity unbounded as Currie moved from one side of the stage to the other to access his instruments, which included marimba, vibraphone, tam-tams, tom-toms, bongos, temple blocks, crotales and cow bells, among others. And he did so with the utmost precision, from the fanfare-like beginning (Introit) to the ethereal conclusion (Easter), where CSO members struck small metal bars suspended from their stands, as Currie intoned tubular bells softly from behind the orchestra.

The central portion of the work was extremely moving, with Currie on marimba and various instrumental combinations softly repeating the four chords, “Gaude, Gaude” (“Rejoice”), like voices in prayer. Currie was in perfect sync with CSO timpanist Patrick Schleker in the climactic Dance-Chorale portion, where, following the CSO’s complete statement of the chant refrain, he broke into an elaborate drum cadenza.”
Cincinnati.com, February 2014

Colin Currie performs James MacMillan’s Veni, Veni Emmanuel with MDR Leipzig, conducted by Kristjan Järvi
“Neben den unter Järvi überzeugend aufspielenden Musikern des Sinfonieorchesters und einer von James Wood einstudierten Auswahl des MDR Rundfunkchores ist es vor allem Colin Currie, der als Solist in MacMillans witzig virtuosem Percussion-Koncert "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel" Begeister ungsstürme entfacht - mit einer so musikantischen wie sportlichen Leistung. Eine solche Batterie Schlagwerk sieht man nicht alle Tage auf dem Gewandhauspodium, und das heißt: Distanzen überwinden. Nicht nur insofern hat dieser Abend für Ohren und auch Augen Einiges zu bieten.”

“Alongside the Symphony Orchestra musicians (who played convincingly under Järvi) and a selection of the MDR Radio Choir, rehearsed by James Wood, the star was Colin Currie who prompted gushing enthusiasm as the soloist in MacMillan’s wittily virtuosic percussion concerto ‘Veni, Veni, Emmanuel’ with a performance that was as musical as it was athletic. Such a battery of percussion is only rarely seen on the Gewandhaus podium, and gave the soloist plenty of distance to cover. For this reason among others, the evening offered a treat for both eyes and ears.”
Leipziger Volkszeitung, January 2014

Colin Currie performs HK Gruber’s Rough Music with BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Juanjo Mena
“Currie was thrillingly athletic with Gruber’s concerto – a joy to watch as well as to hear.”
Guardian, December 2013

“Currie showed an authoritative brilliance and exceptional ability to use the full battery at his disposal, hopping between four set-ups and a dozen instruments strung across the front of the platform, from vibraphone to timpani, which proved fascinating visually as well as aurally.”
The Arts Desk, December 2013

Colin Currie and Nicolas Hodges perform Stockhausen’s Kontakte at Glasgow Royal Concert Halls
“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, November 2013

Rouse Der Gerettete Alberich / Houston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andrey Boreyko
“Percussionist Colin Currie sketched Rouse's character portrait in vivid, virtuosic strokes. From the scrapes and creaks describing Alberich's first stirring to the whirlwinds of rhythm and color that unleashed his malevolence, Currie made an arresting protagonist.”
Houston Chronicle, November 2013

The Colin Currie Group performs Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians at Royal Festival Hall
“Reich's Music for 18 Musicians rarely comes better presented than it was by the Colin Currie Group... The performance was technically impeccable and musically overwhelming; richly deserving of the lengthy standing ovation.”
Guardian, 5 stars, November 2013

“Reich launched his concert by humbly playing secondo to Colin Currie’s lead in “Clapping Music”, after which Currie and his chamber group gave scintillating performances of three Reich classics, culminating in a magnificent account of his chef d’oeuvre, Music for 18 Musicians. And for that the Festival Hall acoustic was perfect, allowing it to create the impression of a complex mobile gracefully turning, in which each musician played an independent and eloquent part. It was one thing and many things, simultaneously static and bursting with event: a joyful conundrum.”
Independent, 5 stars, November 2013

“Here, a sense of music shifting within space was skilfully managed by Sound Intermedia, as Synergy Vocals joined percussionists, pianists, strings and clarinets. The work had been preceded by Clapping Music, with Reich and Colin Currie in winsome duet.”
Times, 4 stars, November 2013

“The performance of Music for 18 Musicians that saw the Colin Currie Group team up with Synergy Vocals was as fine a rendition of this work as you could hope for. Performers slipped and slid into and out of rhythm, conjuring up extraordinary musical crosshatching, using those famous Reichian swells to blow musical figures across the stage. Conductorless and fluid, it is a work where all must play their part, covering backs, swapping places, listening out for correct entries and exits. The ensemble were as attentive as I have ever seen a group of musicians.”
The Arts Desk, 5 stars, November 2013

“As for this performance – it’s hard to imagine any better… the ensemble played with focus and ease. This was apparently Currie’s first time performing the piece, but you wouldn’t have guessed, and his ensemble (featuring some impressively stellar names including violinist Jonathan Morton and pianist Huw Watkins) were brilliantly drilled and bursting with enthusiasm.”
Bachtrack, 5 stars, November 2013

Rouse ‘Der Gerettete Alberich’ / São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop
“O percussionista escocês Colin Currie foi o astro da noite.”

“The Scottish percussionist Colin Currie was the star of the night.”
Folha de São Paulo, August 2013

“The soloist was Colin Currie, surely the world’s finest and most daring percussionist.”
The Spectator, August 2013

Higdon Percussion Concerto / Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Bramwell Tovey
“It's a wonderful piece, and Currie, for whom the piece was written, gave a bravura performance. There were some especially nice moments between him and the orchestra's percussionists.”
Times Union, August 2013

“The second work was Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto (2005) which featured British percussionist Colin Currie, who moved with an athletic agility among marimba, vibraphone, temple blocks, bongos, bass drum and cymbals, which were strung across the lip of the stage. He did a remarkable job, at one point using both hands while one foot tapped a bass drum pedal and he stood on the other… the cadenza near the end was an extravaganza of color and accents among temple blocks, bass drum, drums, bongos and cymbals. Currie was fantastic. The crowd gave an immediate standing ovation with huge cheers and whistles. Currie, who often smiled during the performance, beamed. Higdon, too, took a bow.”
The Daily Gazette, Saratoga, August 2013

Aho Sieidi / New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Osmo Vänskä
“Currie is always a welcome soloist here, especially with a work premiered in Europe just last year. The presentation was electrifying; Currie displayed the physicality and precision one associates with Wimbledon, with marimba mallets replacing tennis racquet. He skilfully laced the marimba's liquid tones around Aho's exotic woodwind melodies and took to a tam tam with the ferocity of a manic sculptor.”
New Zealand Herald, July 2013

“…Colin Currie joined with the orchestra in a gripping performance of Sieidi, by Kalevi Aho. Currie was previously heard here in September 2010 and he was as spellbinding now as then.”
The Press, Christchurch, July 2013

Rouse Der gerettete Alberich / Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Shelley
“Visually as well as aurally exciting, new music champion percussionist Colin Currie dashed around a wide array of percussion instruments executing its complex counterpoised rhythms with frenzied energy.”
Sydney Morning Herald, July 2013

Rouse Der gerettete Alberich / Düsseldorfer Symphoniker
“Christopher Rouses „Der gerettete Alberich“ für Schlagzeug und Orchester, das vor bald acht Jahren erstmals in der frisch sanierten Tonhalle erklang, klingt schon zupackender. Zumal das parodistische, auf den Nachtalben aus dem „Ring“ anspielende Werk gewitzt gemacht ist und erst im letzten Teil arg plakativ wird und Cohn Currie am Schlagwerke-Gerätepark herrlich locker und ohne die modischen Akrobatik-Allüren angesagter Percussionisten agiert.”

“Christopher Rouse’s ‘Der gerettete Alberich’ for percussion and orchestra, first performed nearly eight years ago in the newly refurbished Tonhalle, sounded much more hard-hitting (than the Overture to the ‘Fliegender Holländer’). The parodistic piece, alluding to the dwarf from ‘The Ring’, was played with craftiness and cunning, becoming distinctly evil only in the final section. Colin Currie played the impressive array of percussion with ease, avoiding the fashionable acrobatics of many so-called percussionists.”
Rheinische Post, June 2013

“1997 hat der Amerikaner Christopher Rouse einen knalligen Epilog zum „Ring“ komponiert mit dem Titel „Der gerettete Alberich“. Das knapp halbstündige Werk für Schlagzeug und Orchester erklingt nun im Rahmen eines Wagner-Gebunstagskonzerts der Düsseldorfer Symphoniker unter Generalmusikdirektor Andrey Boreyko. Solist am groß ausgebreiteten Schlagzeug ist der schottische Perkussionist Colin Curie, ein temperamentvoller wie sensibler Virtuose an Trommeln, Klanghölzern und einem schnarrenden Waschbrett, dessen scharfes Raspelgeräusch den Kobold-Charakter der Alberich-Figur plastisch vor Ohren führt. Currie hat sich vor allem als Interpret Neuer Musik einen Namen gemacht.

Das Stück, das schon einmal im Jahr 2005 unter der Leitung von John Fiore in der Tonhalle zu hören war, wirkt wie eine bunte Collage aus sehr verschiedenen Elementen. Meistens klingt es wie modeme Symphonik, manchmal wie Rockmusik — Stellen, an denen Colin Currie an einem Band-Schlagzeug sitzt und man meint beinahe, Alberich feiert eine rockige Party.

Für die spieltechnisch aber auch klanglich differenzierte Leistung am Schlagwerk bekommt Currie am Freitagabend kräftigen Applaus mit vielen Jubelrufen.”

“In 1997, the American composer Christopher Rouse wrote a striking epilogue to ‘The Ring’, entitled ‘Der gerettete Albrich’. This half hour piece for percussion and orchestra was performed as part of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker’s Wagner Anniversary concerts, under Chief Conductor Andrey Boreyko. The soloist on the wide spread of percussion instruments was Scottish percussionist Colin Currie, a spirited yet sensitive virtuoso on the drums, claves and grating wash-board, whose strong, rasping sounds brought the dwarfish character of Albrecht vividly to life. Currie made his name in particular as a performer of new music.

The piece, which was performed at the Tonhalle in 2005 under John Fiore, is like a colourful collage of various elements. Mostly, it sounds like contemporary orchestral music, but at times it sounds like rock music – times when Colin Currie sits at the drum kit, and you could almost think that Alberich was holding a rock party.

Colin Currie’s technically skilful and colourful performance on Friday evening received hearty applause and many cries of ‘bravo!’”
Westdeutsche Zeitung, June 2013

The Colin Currie Group / Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
“Reich’s early minimalist masterpiece Drumming… formed a breathtaking conclusion to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s fine weekend celebrating the pioneering composer’s music.

In an interview before the performance, Reich joked that he’d been furious when he first heard the Colin Currie Group play the piece – they’d mastered in no time what it had taken his own ensemble decades to perfect. And the young British 12-piece more than lived up to the composer’s introduction: the players’ muscular, driven performance seemed to surge forward, emphasising the volatile, joyous energy of the piece while making light of its fearsome technical demands.

They were ferociously physical yet superbly controlled in the African-sounding opening section, four percussionists attacking eight bongos, sliding in and out of sync with miraculous ease. The ear-bending third section (cue earplugs for the players) blended stratospheric tintinnabulations from glockenspiels with piccolo and whistling to magical effect, and even as the sounds grew more fairy-like, the energy never flagged.

The ensemble didn’t hang about, moving swiftly from section to section in an already fast-paced performance. But by the glorious conclusion, which joyously blended all we’d heard before, the group had achieved an almost spiritual beauty. An exceptional performance.”
The Scotsman, March 2013

“Given the complexity of the score we were about to hear, it is worth noting quite how lucidly – and frankly – Reich talks about his music, whether responding to Brown or members of the audience in the open session. He also more or less blamed Scottish percussionist Colin Currie ("One of the greatest musicians in the world today") for the demise of the composer's own group, reasoning that Reich's own musicians had been shown how to play Drumming when Currie formed his band to perform it in London in 2006. Which makes it perfectly reasonable to say that I do not expect to hear this remarkable hour-long piece played better. Reich may now be an avowedly non-orchestral composer, but when all nine percussionists are playing the three marimbas on stage, and the whole is topped off by the two female singers of Synergy Vocals, if the sound is not exactly lush, it is hard to imagine music that is any richer. The precision of the palette of Drumming – bongoes, marimbas, glockenspiels, voices and piccolo – is as crucial as the ground-breaking rhythmic technique and spare harmonic content. The production values of its presentation on the concert hall stage, with effective lighting and vision-mixing from an array of cameras on two screens above the players, were also exemplary.”
The Herald Scotland, March 2013

New concerti by Nico Muhly and Joey Roukens with Britten Sinfonia in Eindhoven
“Currie showcased his phenomental talent in Joey Roukens’ Rotterdam Concerto (2011) …”
NRC Handelsblad, November 2012

World premiere of Julia Wolfe riSE and fLY with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Keith Lockhart
“It's literally the remarkable Currie for half the work: the solo part is first played entirely on his body, with amplified claps, chest slaps and stamps, before a marginally more conventional second half uses a variety of found objects, plastic and metal cans, oven racks and more. Wolfe calls it "urban folk music for the orchestra", but like so much of her music it's also a wonderfully imaginative, boundary-crossing fusion of sources and styles.”
Guardian, October 2012

Gramophone award-winning recording of Einojuhani Rautavaara Incantations (Ondine)
“The vibrant Percussion Concerto, Incantations (2008), delivered with coruscating virtuosity by Colin Currie, is a strongly drawn triptych, rhythmically exciting and superbly orchestrated.”
Gramophone, October 2012

“The Percussion Concerto Incantations is more dramatic in tone from bar I, its fast-slow-fast design an orthodox but compelling vehicle for Currie’s blistering virtuosity (the soloist provides his own cadenza, too, in the Animato finale) … Colin Currie, for whom the concerto was written and who premiered it in London in 2009, reprises that scintillating performance in a barnstorming account caught splendidly in Ondine’s superlative sound.”
Gramophone, April 2012

MacMillan Veni, Veni Emmanuel with Oslo Philharmonic / Oslo Philharmonic Season Opening / cond. Jukka-Pekka Saraste
“Det er riktig som de sier om slagverkeren Colin Currie. I skotske James MacMillans elegant sprudlende slagverkskonsert «Veni, veni Emmanuel» spilte han overbevisende og svært organisk, og formerlig sprutet av virtuos energi.”

“It’s true what they say about percussionist Colin Currie: In the elegant, sparkling concert of ‘Veni, Veni Emmanuel’ by the Scottish composer James Macmillan, he played naturally and with convincing waves of virtuosic energy.”
Ballade.no, August 2012

“Solist Colin Currie hadde til rådighet omtrent alt som finnes av slagverksinstrumenter. Hans ekstreme ferdigheter på stemte og ustemte trommer og klokker var en fryd å følge, ikke minst hans tette forhold til orkesteret som er en ekstra krevende øvelse på perkusjon.”

“Soloist Colin Currie had almost all the instruments in the percussion family at his disposal. His extreme dexterity on both tuned and non-tuned instruments, drums and bells, made for thrilling following, not least in the symbiotic way he interacted with the orchestra; a particularly demanding task for a percussionist.”
Vårt Land, August 2012

MacMillan Veni, Veni Emmanuel with Oslo Philharmonic / Grafenegg Festival / cond. Jukka-Pekka Saraste 
“Im Zentrum des Abends im Wolkenturm steht das Schlagwerkkonzert “Veni, veni, Emmanuel” von MacMillan, ein ungemein wirkungsvolles Werk, das voller kunterbunter Elemente steckt. Von allem ein wenig, ganz unterschiedliche Stimmungen und Versatzstücke... Hinreißend der Solist Colin Currie!”

“The central point of the concert at the Wolkenturm was MacMillan’s percussion concerto ‘Veni, veni, Emmanuel’, which is an extraordinarily effective piece, a real motley assortment of elements. There is a little of everything, a wide variety of moods and settings…The soloist, Colin Currie, was captivating.”
Kronen Zeitung, August 2012

Carter with New York Philharmonic/Robertson, June 2012
“Carter’s Two Controversies and a Conversation, in effect a pocket-size double concerto, took full advantage of its confident soloists, the pianist Eric Huebner and the percussionist Colin Currie. Two initial movements engaged the soloists in volleys of brittle one-upmanship, with no small show of athleticism from the constantly sprinting Mr. Currie. The last and longest eased them into more involved exchanges. The applause for Mr. Carter, wheelchair bound but characteristically animated, resounded thunderously.”
New York Times, June 2012

“Carter’s Two Controversies and a Conversation, co-commissioned by Aldeburgh and Radio France, emerges as a genial, economic rumination on percussive structures and strictures. Colin Currie and Eric Huebner, the soloists, trade snappy, tricky rhythmic impulses on a piano plus numerous tapping/stroking/banging devices. Supporting instruments add unpredictable commentary and echoes. As always, Carter ignores aesthetic concessions and stylistic compromises.”
Financial Times, June 2012

World Premiere of Aho Sieidi with the London Philharmonic / cond. Osmo Vänskä
“Big and bold, Aho’s Sieidi: Concerto for Solo Percussion and Orchestra, a joint commission by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and others, arrived with some thunderous drumming at the Southbank Centre on Wednesday...[The] music is a ride on the big dipper of extreme contrasts – macho punch-ups with belligerent rhythms (a soundtrack for the next Bond film?), long melodies that float over a barren landscape and simple passages for solo drums like shamanistic ritual...There is an energy about his concerto that holds the attention. It is a lively, virtuoso piece and Currie made the most of it.This was an evening when the percussionist’s art was left free to shine, and Currie’s with it.”
Financial Times, April 2012

“Currie and the London Philharmonic performed the work beautifully”
Guardian, April 2012

“Aho is a concerto composer par excellence: here he has played very much to the virtuoso talents of Colin Currie.”
Times, April 2012

“Aho conjured up a different orchestral atmosphere for each station on Currie’s journey; whining sax over vibraphone recalled Debussy, sinuous rhythms suggested the swaying of an exotic dancer, one section with castanets might have worked on Broadway Meanwhile, Currie progressed with calm authority through an anthology of modern percussion gestures, using hands, sticks, mallets, brushes and bows to coax life into his instruments … Sieidi was vivid, colourful, entertaining.”
Evening Standard, April 2012

“Colin Currie tackled the work with a winningly energetic panache”
Classical Source, April 2012

“Currie’s furious drumming was exciting: it always is.”
The Arts Desk, April 2012

Higdon Percussion Concerto with the Baltimore Symphony / cond. Marin Alsop
“As the concerto proceeds, Higdon, a Pulitzer Prize winner, builds a vibrant atmosphere, with the strings creating shaded textures, the horns contributing bright lines and the woodwinds intermittently emerging above the fray. The music roiled and flared, and Currie's performance grew increasingly energetic; a serene song for xylophone and celesta cooled the temperature a bit, but the work surged again with a riotous cadenza and an outsized finale. Alsop, who knows the score well -- she conducted it at Cabrillo a few seasons back, and has recorded it with the London Philharmonic -- returned to it Friday with impressive focus and brio. Currie distinguished himself throughout, and Higdon joined the conductor and her soloist onstage to an enthusiastic ovation.”
San Jose Mercury News, March 2012

“Currie performed the piece with unwavering athletic flare. After a sensitive opening on marimba, the piece traverses a terrain of devilish and relentless passagework which Currie delivered with precise execution. He strode confidently between an array of percussion instruments, swiftly and with purpose. His longest walk was reserved for the set of drums where he performed a dazzling cadenza with furrowed intensity and frenzied abandon, on the edge yet never out of control. There were superb conversational exchanges between the soloist and the ever-attentive percussion section, and despite the vast distance between them, they locked in with exceptional ability.

Currie was spellbinding not only through his showmanship, but also through his infectious enjoyment of the music. Often exchanging knowing smiles with Alsop, he also took a moment part-way through one section to acknowledge an excitable audience member in the front row with an appreciative smile and nod of the head. He engaged everyone in the entire hall, and even the occasional musician on stage sat mesmerised by an arsenal of techniques.”
Bach Track, March 2012

UK premiere of Sally Beamish Dance Variations with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra
“The real dance takes place in the soloist’s hands – notably in the racier sections (avarice, pride), where Beamish stretches Currie’s musical skills without descending into show-off theatrics. Dance Variations is full of ear-teasing ideas and represents a substantial addition to the repertoire.”
Guardian, March 2012

HK Gruber Rough Music with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra / cond. HK Gruber
“Hats off to Currie. It’s hard to imagine that there are many people who could play this piece. “Rough Music” came in three parts. Parts one and three had some very American and especially Gershwin-esque passages. Homage to cinema music could be gleaned. Part two saw Currie on the conventional pop drum set, and the racket was brought to euphony. Currie’s performance was pretty astounding and the thirty odd minute “Rough Music” ended with him beating the stuffing out of a giant bass drum.”
ERR News, Estonian Public Broadcasting, October 2011

World Premiere of Elliott Carter Conversations with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and BCMG / Aldeburgh Festival / cond. Oliver Knussen 
“It's a beautifully engineered series of encounters between the piano (played by Pierre-Laurent Aimard) and the array of percussion (Colin Currie), who match and swap registers and sound worlds. The ensemble supplies terse punctuation until, in a brief, dazzling climax, it too gets swept into the soloists' figuration, before the piece ends with a last metallic aside.”
Guardian, June 2011

“This afternoon I heard a new double concerto for piano and percussion whose mixture of mathematical complexity and bouncy joie de vivre took the breath away... Currie describes the work as “one of the most significant additions to our chamber repertoire since the Bartok Sonata of 1938″. He’s right: this is a magical score. The work lasts only seven minutes, during which the piano and marimba send out showers of perfectly synchronised arpeggios, interspersed with metrical games that draw in the brass, strings, drums, gong and vibraphone. Knussen very sensibly conducted it twice, and the second time around every bar yielded little felicities of scoring that I’d missed the first time.”
Daily Telegraph Blogs, June 2011

“Scored for solo piano and percussion with Mozart-size orchestra, it makes a pungent statement. Conversations is a witty dialogue between solo instruments with much in common – the piano, after all, has percussive qualities – but represent different viewpoints about sound. In Carter’s scenario, the piano sets the pace and has the best music, but the percussion commands a wider palette and seems more exuberant, often putting the piano in the shade. When marimba or vibraphone calls the tune, the conversation sounds harmonious. When gongs or drums take their turn, the soloists seem at odds. As in any civilised argument, they refrain from interrupting each other. The piece reaches a humorous, single-note conclusion – and Carter pulls off another of his succinct musical metaphors for social interchange. Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Colin Currie were spirited soloists with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group under Oliver Knussen.”
Financial Times
, June 2011

“The music’s splintered sound felt like pure thought in motion. As did the brand-new double concerto Conversations from the 102-year-old Elliott Carter, in which percussionist Colin Currie and pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard tossed musical shapes at each other like netball players. No doubt about it; it was the old masters who seemed truly young.
Daily Telegraph, June 2011

“The piece is more about response and reaction — everywhere quick, brittle, witty — than about solo virtuosity. And its writing challenged the [orchestra] as much as the soloists in its mercurial impulses and ricocheting resonances.”
Times, June 2011

“Music of an amazingly energetic bent... Conversations for piano and percussion reveals a composer who, at least in musical thought, hasn't slowed down one bit. From the off, fantastically industrious ideas are summoned up (a tone row boogie-woogie from Pierre-Laurent Aimard's piano, syncopated responses from Colin Currie's marimba) and hurtle uncontainably around the stage like three-year-olds around a kitchen table.”
The Arts Desk, June 2011

Recital with Miro Quartet / US tour
“Composer Steve Reich cast a long shadow over Thursday’s Terrace Theater recital by percussionist Colin Currie and the Miro Quartet. Reich’s own piece, “Nagoya Marimbas” — which had Currie playing a live, mirror-image marimba part half a beat behind a recorded marimba solo — offered classic Reichian minimalism in its repetitive rhythmic cells and pointillist bursts of color. Next to that piece, if Michael Torke’s chamber-scaled concerto for marimba and string quartet, “Mojave,” sounded like Reich-lite, the comparison didn’t diminish the work’s breezy charms, where a blend of looser-limbed minimalism and feel-good neo-romanticism evoked the desert car trips Torke regularly takes between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Steve Martland counts Reich as an influence on his own music, and his piece “Starry Night” put the Miro strings through their paces in writing that sounded as if furious, Paganini-like virtuoso riffs were locked into some sort of tape loop and then broken into repeated melodic shards cut off by fraught silences. The expanding and contracting rhythmic figures in Louis Andriessen’s witty and fiendishly difficult work for wood blocks and marimba, “Woodpecker” (played dazzlingly by Currie) , brought Reich’s early percussion pieces to mind. Dave Maric’s “Run Chime” filtered Reich’s perpetual-motion-machine style through a progressive jazz lens.

Even the moodily dissonant score “Since Brass, nor Stone…” by the anything-but-Reichian modernist Alexander Goehr, featured obsessively repeated phrases on a battery of percussion instruments. And, thanks to the Miro’s lean, febrile readings of Schubert’s “Quartettsatz” and Barber’s Adagio for Strings, we managed to hear proto-minimalist leanings in these decidedly old-world scores.”
Washington Post, April 2011

Duo Recital with Hakan Hardenberger for Pro Musica Hannover
“Publikumfavorit wurde allerdings ein Schlagzeugsolo: „Woodpecker“ von Louis Andriessen ist in der Tat ein wunderbares Stück, treibend und humorvoll. Currie bewältigte nicht nur souverän die beträchtlichen technischen Schwierigkeiten der Komposition, sondern wusste auch ohne Schwächemomente den notwendigen Puls zu halten." “The audience favourite, however was the percussion solo: “Woodpecker” by Louis Andriessen, is indeed a wonderful piece, with drive and humour. Not only did Currie supremely conquer the considerable technical difficulties of the composition, but he knew how to hold the pulse without any moment of weakness.”
Cellesche Zeitung, April 2011

“Colin Currie bewegt sich virtuos auf seinen zahlreichen Instrumenten. Schon dass er sich in seinem Instrumentarium nicht verirrt, nötigt Respekt ab. Das perfekte Zusammenspiel, das gegenseitige Zuhören und Aufeinander-Eingehen, faszinierte.”

“Colin Currie was a master of virtuosity with his numerous instruments. The fact he never got lost between all his instruments deserves our respect. The perfect interaction, the mutual listening and the understanding was fascinating. The enthusiastic public wanted more.”
Neue Presse, April 2011

“Der Trompeter Håkan Hardenberger und der Schlagzeuger Colin Currie begeistern beim Pro-Musica-Konzert. Nein, das war ganz und gar nicht alltäglich. So spannend und entspannend zugleich kann neuere Musik sein!”

“The trumpet player Håkan Hardenberger and the percussionist Colin Currie delighted the audience at the Pro Musica concert. No, this was not at all an everyday event. Who would have thought that contemporary music could be so thrilling yet relaxing at the same time!”
Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, April 2011

Leading the Colin Currie Group in a performance of Steve Reich Drumming at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
“Watching the Colin Currie Group performing Reich's early-Seventies landmark work Drumming, one is struck by the intense levels of concentration required to bring the 70-minute piece successfully through its various stages. Currie's 12-piece ensemble is exceptionally focused, and the result holds the audience rapt throughout its duration.... The transitions between sections are seamlessly effected throughout, with particular attention paid to the bongos, which might easily overpower the more delicate tones. Ultimately, all the different elements are reintroduced in the collective fourth section, where the apparent contradictions between the skin, wood and metal timbres are magically dissolved in a joyous, propulsive finale that suddenly comes to a shockingly abrupt halt in perfect unison.”
Independent, five stars, April 2011

Rautavaara Incantations / Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra 
“...the soloist's spellbinding entrance -- a rush of marimba figuration, its intensity echoed by similar patterns on tuned drums and cymbals. Currie shifted deftly behind the array, sometimes producing four mallets where two had been a moment before, hammering out dissonant staccato chords, asserting shamanic authority...yes, the spirits do come when Rautavaara, through an adroit interpreter like Currie, calls for them.”
Indystar, March 2011

HK Gruber Rough Music / Alte Oper Frankfurt / Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and Andrés Orozco-Estrada
„Der Wiener HK Gruber spielt in den «Rauen Tönen» das nächtlich-lärmige Gespenstertreiben durch, mit dem man auf dem Lande schon im Mittelalter missliebige Mitbewohner erschreckte. Das Arsenal dieses Stückes für Percussion ist gewaltig, hier in vier Gruppen aufgebaut. So etwas stellt riesige Anforderungen an den Schlagzeuger, der zudem mit dem Orchester einig gehen muss. Der Schotte Colin Currie löste diese vielfarbige, vielrhythmische Aufgabe glänzend. Selbst leichte Walzerseligkeit wurde schneidend konterkariert. In diesem Hexenkessel blieb dem Publikum schier der Atem weg.”

“The Viennese HK Gruber portrays the noisy, nocturnal, ghostly goings-on in “Rough Music”, a method used in the countryside in medieval times to scare unpopular residents. The instrumental set-up for this piece for percussion is enormous, arranged on stage in four groups. Something like this is incredibly demanding for the percussion soloist, who also has to synchronise perfectly with the orchestra. Scotsman Colin Currie solved this multicoloured, multi-rhythmic task brilliantly. Even simple waltz-phrases were edgily performed. This witch’s cauldron took the audience’s breath away.”
Frankfurter Neue Presse, January 2011

„Der schottische Perkussionist Colin Currie bewegte sich katzengewandt von einem Schlagzeugset zum andern, brachte Marimba, Vibrafon, Trommeln, Becken, Glocken und Pauken in raschem Wechsel zum rhythmischen Einsatz. Zwischen Kitsch und Krach, ätherischen und brutalen Klängen pendelt diese Musik, die sich als effektvolles Spektakel erweist, das im letzten Satz gar mit Walzerzitaten aufwartet, bevor es mit einem donnernden Wirbel auf der großen Trommel endet. Tadellos funktionierte dank des umsichtigen Dirigenten die Koordination von Solist und Orchester.“

“Colin Currie moved like a cat from one set of drums to another as he changed rapidly between marimba, vibraphone, cymbals, bells and timpani. This music, which proved an effective spectacle, fluctuated between kitsch and noise, ethereal and brutal sounds. In the last movement the music even quoted a waltz, before it ended with a thundering roll on the bass drum. The coordination of soloist and orchestra was impeccable, especially thanks to the prudent conductor.”
Echo Online, January 2011

Performing with Martha Argerich and Stephen Kovacevich at the Wigmore Hall
“...a performance of Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion that combined grandeur, decorative grace and bounding energy, all in a spirit of relaxed enjoyment.”
Daily Telegraph, October 2010

MacMillan Veni, Veni, Emmanuel and Jennifer Higdon Percussion Concerto on tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Alexander Shelley
“The Edinburgh-born soloist makes a big impression with his astonishing musicality...centred around his love for marimba, [Higdon’s Percussion Concerto] had him front-of-stage with marimba, percussion and drum kit, and moving around the instruments. The piece included wafting marimba, bowed sounds, and full tilt drum kit solos, a la rock bands...[Currie’s] cadenza was vibrant and there was particular interest in the dialogue and interplay, like echoes and “duels” between the soloist and the orchestral percussion players.”
Capital Times, September 2010

“With an array of instruments ranged across the front of the stage Currie was a one-man orchestra racing around his various noise-producing instruments.”
National Business Review, September 2010

“Colin Currie is as good as his reputation and the whole thing was spectacular.”
The Dominion Post, September 2010

“A percussionist is not the usual soloist with the NZSO, but the slimly build and intensely fit Colin Currie impressed in this role, matching his reputation as a phenomenally gifted player who is turbo-charged...He was certainly active across the front of the stage in his performance of James MacMillan’s Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, swiftly changing between groups of sonorous gongs and tuned percussion on one side, to timpani, cymbals and drums on the other, with plenty more between, and finally to the ethereal finish on the tubular bells high at the back of the stage. His playing of a bewildering array of instruments provided a fascinating visual as well as auditory experience for a rapt audience.”
Hawkes Bay Today, September 2010

“Colin Currie, that cool master of the mallets, headlined the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s two Soundscapes concerts. The Scottish percussionist was just as spry dashing from instrument to instrument as he was on his last visit, but this time he brought more substantial repertoire. James MacMillan’s Veni, Veni, Emmanuel is an established modern-day classic. Its appeal lies in its sincerely expressed spiritual theme and, for those who know their plainsong, MacMillan’s clever twisting of an old chant. Restless, vibrant textures showcased Currie’s virtuosity while a more poetic aspect was revealed in a shimmering marimba cadenza against sotto voce strings.”
Capital Times, September 2010

“The soloist in both concerts was balletic Scottish percussionist Colin Currie, who was as exciting to watch as he was to listen to.”
The Listener, September 2010

Jennifer Higdon Percussion Concerto with Marin Alsop at the 2010 Cabrillo Festival
“More impressive was Higdon’s 2005 Percussion Concerto, written for the phenomenal Colin Currie and displaying his talent for drawing a wide spectrum of sounds from intractable instruments: in his hands, the marimba coos and a drum set thunders."
Financial Times USA, August 2010

“[Higdon’s] Percussion Concerto’s soloist was the astonishing Colin Currie, who worked three different batteries of at least a dozen instruments and as many sticks and mallets.”
Santa Cruz weekly, August 2010

“Percussionist Colin Currie blazed brilliantly through Higdon’s high-energy 2005 Percussion Concerto”
Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 2010

“Currie’s performance, ranging from nuanced to aggressive (and roaming all over the stage), was terrific”
San Francisco Classical Voice, August 2010

BBC Proms 2010: Simon Holt a table of noises / BBC National Orchestra of Wales / cond. Thierry Fischer
“The work, arranged in six main sections interspersed with cadenza-like passages, is complex in structure and must be the very devil for even a soloist of Currie's ability. In fact, he performed it with an authority that left mere virtuosity behind and turned everything into musical expression.”
Guardian, July 2010

“What mattered was the series of enchanted musical worlds which Currie created, with taut, terse, high-pitched pings and pocks from wood, skin, and metal. The slimmed-down orchestra consisted of woodwind, brass, harp, strings, and xylophones, with which Currie’s own xylophone created celestial harmonies; at some moments we might have been in a Japanese Noh theatre.”
Independent, July 2010

“It needs a performance of blazing precision and nervous tension – which is exactly what it got. Soloist Colin Currie was a miracle of cool-headed brilliance, flitting between xylophone and his taxidermist’s table of instruments with total aplomb.”
Daily Telegraph, July 2010

“As the piece opened, Currie measured out a rhythmic figure that, with the help of two strident piccolos, became the seed of a firm melodic idea. Sometimes Currie established possibilities that the ensemble developed around him; sometimes he followed, but the music’s inexorable forward motion and delight in unexpected sonorities were always clear. At no point was he called upon to batter the orchestra into submission; instead, he took his place before a different percussive option for each movement, now building up broken funk rhythms, now creating subtle undercurrents. Between each of the movements came a series of what Holt calls “ghosts”, passages during which Currie remained silent. Quietly intense, they emphasised how far from the conventional percussion concerto Holt had come.”
Evening Standard, July 2010

World premiere of Einojuhani Rautavaara's Percussion Concerto Incantations / London Philharmonic Orchestra / cond. Yannick Nézet-Séguin
“Einojuhani Rautavaara's Incantations, a concerto for percussion and orchestra, manages to be both intensely innovative and highly conventional. Rautavaara's concerto is dominated by a resplendent opening orchestral fanfare, which returns at the work's close. The solo part is not, as one had feared, a massive crash-bang-wallop drum extravaganza, but a delicate and luminous invention of great expressiveness, with the marimba and vibraphone carrying much of the solo writing. Colin Currie's athletic playing was as dazzling and persuasive as the work itself.”
Guardian, October 2009

Incantations was written for, and in consultation with, Colin Currie, who gave a dedicated performance, complete with virtuoso cadenza of his own making.”
Times, October 2009

Premiere of Jennifer Higdon Percussion Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra / cond. Christoph Eschenbach / Carnegie Hall
“The performance elicited a cheering ovation for the extraordinary percussion soloist, Colin Currie, and for the composer. Once the first section really takes off, the music is nonstop in its energy. There are frenzied outbursts and flourishes for the soloist on the marimba, vibraphone, blocks and drum sets. The concerto certainly provided a vehicle for the brilliant Mr. Currie, a limber, young virtuoso born in Edinburgh…. The jazzy and vehement cadenza, played on the drum set, gave Mr. Currie his Max Roach moment."
New York Times, December 2006

UK premiere of Higdon Percussion Concerto with the London Philharmonic / cond. Marin Alsop
“Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto is a brilliantly crafted, brilliantly theatrical, display piece for its splendid dedicatee, the British percussion soloist Colin Currie. Progressing from throbbing marimba through clattering woodblocks to a drum kit from hell, Currie always found beauty in precision. Elegance too.”
Times, December 2007

World premiere of Simon Holt a table of noises / City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / cond. Martyn Brabbins
“Currie’s virtuosic performance confirmed that the percussion repertory has been enriched. Brittle, unsettling and full of bite."
Sunday Telegraph, May 2008

Duo Recital with Hakan Hardenberger at LSO St Luke’s
“Currie attacked a sequence of fiendish solos, including Per Norgaard's Fire Over Water and Louis Andriessen's Woodpecker - the former joyously cacophonous, the latter more subdued, albeit fiendish in its rhythmic complexity. A solo percussionist is, of necessity, a musical athlete, and the brilliance of Currie's playing is inseparable from the thrill of watching him perform acts of tremendous dexterity that seemingly draw on endless reserves of stamina. Enthralling stuff, every second of it.”
Guardian, February 2007

Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse & John Storgårds in Rouse Die Gerettete Alberich
“The American composer Christopher Rouse’s fantasy for percussion and orchestra, Der gerettete Alberich, provided the opportunity of discovering Colin Currie, a tremendous virtuoso. Installed in front of the orchestra amongst an impressive ensemble of percussion instruments, he roused the enthusiasm of the audience by his fantastic mastery of tone and rhythm.”
La Dépêche du Midi, May 2009

With the Los Angeles Philharmonic & Leonard Slatkin performing Rouse Die Gerettete Alberich
"The orchestra plays around with themes from the "Ring," while Alberich simply plays around. The character is delusional as ever. He thinks he's a pop star, so Currie, at one point, hopped on a set of traps. A wide array of instruments presents the wily little guy in an assortment of disguises. His visions of grandeur, while amusing, are not without their edge. Currie's magnificent performance of the delirious cadenza was both thrilling and a bit nerve-racking."
Los Angeles Times, August 2008

BBC Proms 2003
“Last night, a great cheer went up for the charismatic Colin Currie, who is such an inspirational catalyst when it comes to contemporary percussion music. This concerto by Duddell looked much more difficult to play than it was to listen to, but Currie’s athleticism and musicianship were fully equal to it.”
Daily Telegraph, July 2003

Performing with the New World Symphony and Marin Alsop
“British percussionist Colin Currie was a bold force of nature. Currie's dazzling feats of rhythm, speed, and dexterity were riveting. In an episode that mixed marimba with woodwinds, he produced streams of mellifluous timbres.”
The Miami Herald, April 2006

MacMillan Veni, Veni Emmanuel
“MacMillan’s dramatic tour de force for percussion soloist and orchestra Veni, Veni, Emmanuel has become a best-seller in the concert hall, and there simply isn’t a better exponent than the charismatic Colin Currie.”
BBC Music Magazine, August 2007

“A showstopping performance from the percussion virtuoso Colin Currie. I’d never thought that drums could be so lyrical.”
Daily Telegraph, January 2005

“Colin Currie’s account of the solo part was a tour de force…”
Evening Standard, January 2005

“The score that fully gripped the imagination was the familiar, glamorous Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, with MacMillan conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Colin Currie the charismatic, athletic percussionist.”
The Guardian, January 2005

 

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Colin Currie Group
» Introduction » Programmes » Media & resources » Press Quotes » ContactThe Colin Currie Group is one of the world’s leading percussion ensembles, specialising in the music of Steve Reich. Led by Currie, whom Reich himself has described as “one of the greatest musicians in the world today” (Herald Scotland, March 2013), the Colin Currie Group is a vibrant, dynamic and virtuosic ensemble comprising the UK’s eminent young...

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Pavel Haas Quartet and Colin Currie perform a world premiere, Alexander Goehr's Since Brass nor Stone... Fantasia for string quartet and percussion Op.80 Pavel Haas Quartet Colin Currie: percussion Thursday 10 July 2008 St Andrew's Church, Holborn Programme:  Peter Maxwell Davies A Sad Paven for these Distracted Tymes Alexander Goehr Since Brass nor Stone... Fantasia for string quartet and percussion Op.8 (World première)...

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