Colin Currie is a solo and chamber artist who champions new music at the highest level, hailed as being “at the summit of percussion performance today” (Gramophone). Currie is the soloist of choice for many of today’s foremost composers and conductors, performing with the world’s leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Philharmonia Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestras.
A dynamic and adventurous soloist, Currie’s commitment to commissioning and creating new music was recognised in 2015 by the Royal Philharmonic Society who awarded him the Instrumentalist Award. Currie has premiered works by composers such as Steve Reich, Elliott Carter, Louis Andriessen, HK Gruber, Sir James MacMillan, Jennifer Higdon, Brett Dean, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Helen Grime, Kalevi Aho, Julia Wolfe, Andy Akiho, Andrew Norman and most recently Bruno Mantovani, Gavin Higgins, Nicole Lizée and Danny Elfman.
Concerto highlights of the 2023/24 season include performances of Nicole Lizée’s Blurr is the Colour of My True Love's Eyes with the Montreal Symphony and Freiburg Philharmonic, as well as performances of Danny Elfman’s Percussion Concerto with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Utah Symphony and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Elsewhere, he performs with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic and Polish National Radio.
A major highlight of Currie’s season is the Hallé Orchestra’s Steve Reich festival in February 2024, where Currie conducts two orchestral programmes, appearing alongside Jonny Greenwood, and performs chamber music with Hallé musicians and students from Royal Northern College of Music and Chetham’s School. Currie also conducts and play/directs a programme with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, continuing his long collaboration with this ensemble.
Colin Currie is co-Artistic Curator of the Grafenegg Academy alongside Håkan Hardenberger and Alina Ibragimova, where he coaches, conducts and performs with Academy musicians, most recently conducting works by Ligeti and Crumb with soloists Håkan Hardenberger and Benjamin Goldscheider.
Currie is Artist in Association at London’s Southbank Centre and Artist in Residence at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In his role as Ambassador of Chamber Music Scotland, he will perform concerts across Scotland with the Colin Currie Quartet, including the premiere of a new work by Aileen Sweeney. Elsewhere, the Colin Currie Quartet will premiere a new work by Freya Waley-Cohen at the Wigmore Hall.
The Colin Currie Group was formed by Colin in 2006 to celebrate the music of Steve Reich and made its five-star debut at the BBC Proms. Since then, with Reich’s personal endorsement, Currie and his virtuosic ensemble have performed at many venues and festivals internationally. In 2021 they premiered a substantial new work by Reich, Traveler’s Prayer, which was commissioned by the Zaterdag Matinee at the Concertgebouw, Royal Festival Hall, Elbphilharmonie, Philharmonie de Paris, Carnegie Hall, CAL Performances and Tokyo Opera City. Looking ahead, Colin Currie Group will perform Reich's Drumming at Paris Festival Présences in February 2024 alongside a newly commissioned work by Connesson.
In October 2017 Currie launched Colin Currie Records, in collaboration with LSO Live, as a platform for recording his diverse projects. He has released three Colin Currie Group discs including Steve Reich’s Drumming, hailed as “thunderously exciting” (The Times), a duo disc with Håkan Hardenberger, and an album of HK Gruber Percussion Concertos with the BBC Philharmonic, Juanjo Mena and John Storgårds. The most recent release on Colin Currie Records, Music for 18 Musicians, was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and has received widespread critical acclaim, described as “a sublime and reflective recording” (Gramophone, Editor’s Choice July 2023).
Livestreams & Broadcasts
Concertgebouw Amsterdam | October 2021
Steve Reich: Tehillim; Traveler's Prayer; Music for 18 Musicians
Colin Currie Group, Synergy Vocals
Colin Currie (conductor)
Click to watch on YouTube
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra | November 2020
Tan Dun: Water Concerto for Water Percussion and Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen (conductor)
Click to watch on YLE Areena
Scottish Chamber Orchestra | May 2021
Einojuhani Rautavaara: Incantations
James MacMillan (conductor)
Click to watch on YouTube
For symphony orchestra or chamber orchestra
Concerto for Water Percussion
Into the open...
a table of noises
Blurr is the Colour of My True Love's Eyes (premiere 2022)
New concerto (premiere 2025)
Veni, Veni Emmanuel
Percussion Concerto No. 2
Towards Future's Embrace
Der gerettete Alberich
Aïs (baritone, percussion and orchestra)
For mixed ensemble or string ensemble
Staggered Nocturne (premiere 2022)
Two Controversies and a Conversation
Quatre Variations (vibraphone and ensemble)
Now you hear me, now you don't (string orchestra)
Sir James MacMillan
David Alan Miller
Andre de Ridder
Chloé van Soeterstède
Carl St Clair
Colin Currie Quartet
The Colin Currie Quartet was formed in 2018 to present new and adventurous works written for percussion quartet. Comprising of Colin Currie, Owen Gunnell, Adrian Spillett and Sam Walton, the Quartet performs works by Steve Reich and branch out into other composers who have been swept along by that highly influential force.
As some of the world’s leading solo, symphonic and chamber percussionists, each player of the quartet brings a different and insightful slant to the art of chamber percussion performance. Recent highlights include performances at the NCPA Beijing, BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, GAIDA Festival Vilnius, East Neuk Festival, Dublin Chamber Music Festival amongst others.
Click to watch:
Colin Currie Quartet at BBC Proms
Colin Currie Quartet perform Pillar IV by Andy Akiho
Colin Currie Quartet perform Steve Reich Drumming Part 1
Colin Currie Quartet perform Reich Mallet Quartet
Colin Currie Quartet perform extract from Julia Wolfe Dark Full Ride
Andy Akiho Pillar I
Dave Maric Nascent Forms
Freya Waley-Cohen New work (premiere 23/24)
Steve Reich Mallet Quartet
Amy Beth Kirsten May The Devil Take Me
Andy Akiho Pillar IV
John Luther Adams Qilyuan
Rolf Wallin Twine
David Lang So Called Laws of Nature Part 2
Steve Reich Drumming Part 1
Connor Shafran Continental Divide
Julia Wolfe Dark Full Ride
Michael Gordon XY (Colin solo drums)
David Lang So Called Laws of Nature (quartet)
David Lang String of Pearls (Colin solo marimba)
Julia Wolfe Dark Full Ride (quartet)
“A sonic display of startling magnificence… The centrepiece was Drumming, tuned bongos impeccably synchronised, slipping and looping in and out of phase... Julia Wolfe’s Dark Full Ride, crackling, eruptive, dangerous, made a noisy and spectacular finale.” Observer
"I have previously described Currie and his friends as daredevils and super-heroes, for their bravura performances of Xenakis." Bachtrack
"In the opening number for wooden frame drums, John Luther Adams’ Qilyaun, the performers stood at all four corners of the auditorium balcony, sending out waves of unruly noise through rolling crescendos and decrescendos... at times it felt as if we were caught in a storm swirling round a vast open landscape, while at others a more synchronised regular beat filled the room with a sense of ritual." Arts Desk
Solo Percussion Recital
Elliott Carter Figment V
Per Norgaard Fire Over Water
Toshio Hosokawa Reminiscence
Bruno Mantovani Moi, jeu...
Iannis Xenakis Rebonds B
Karlheinz Stockhausen Vibra-Elufa
Rolf Wallin Realismos Mágicos
"His words set expectations high, and his performance exceeded them…. Currie’s white mallets blurred as they raced over bongos and tom-toms, both arms and one foot maintaining distinct rhythms. He moved with taut physicality and fierce focus, tweaking each limb’s pattern and prominence, phasing them in and out… He bowed with a smile, having rocked the house and raised the roof."
Boston Globe, December 2016
"a blistering and mesmeric performance... He erupted onto the stage, launching his programme to explosive effect with Per Norgards’ Fire over Water... The relative peace of Hosakawa’s Remembrance evoked an altogether different world, as did the wonderful mercurial qualities of both Stockhausen’s Vibra-Elufa and Ralf Wallin’s dazzling miniatures, Realismos magicos. And that was Currie’s playing: magical and dazzling to eye and ear, climaxing in the classic drum battle that is Xenakis’ Rebonds B."
Glasgow Herald, November 2016
“An evening of wonders at Wigmore Hall… Rolling tremolandos gave an effect of aural marbling, with Currie’s dexterity and control of dynamic fluctuation as awe-inspiring as the piece itself."
“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.”
Colin Currie & Håkan Hardenberger
Trumpet and Percussion Duo
Joe Duddell Catch
Tobias Brostrom Dream Variations
Toshio Hosokawa Reminiscence (solo percussion)
Toru Takemitsu Paths (solo trumpet)
HK Gruber Passing the Buck
Brett Dean ...the scene of the crime...
“A breathtaking performance… Both players exhibited stunning virtuosity, though always at the service of musical effect, never for its own sake.” San Francisco Classical Voice
Colin Currie & JACK Quartet
Suzanne Farrin Hypersea (percussion & string quartet)
Andy Akiho Aluminous (percussion & string quartet)
Steve Martland Starry Night (percussion & string quartet)
Colin Currie & Huw Watkins (percussion & piano)
Dave Maric Predicaments
Britten Holiday Diary (solo piano)
Joe Duddell Parallel Lines
Hannah Lash C
Tansy Davies Dark Ground (solo percussion)
Helen Grime Harp of the North (solo piano)
Huw Watkins Seven Inventions
Colin Currie & Nicholas Hodges (percussion & piano)
Birtwistle Intrada for piano and percussion
Stockhausen Klavierstück V (piano)
Birtwistle Variations from the Golden Mountain (piano)
Feldman King of Denmark (percussion)
Birtwistle Intrada for piano and percussion
Stockhausen Kontakte (piano & percussion)
“The combined genius of pianist Nicholas Hodges and percussionist Colin Currie, armed with a battery of percussion and piano, made thrilling theatre out of it, amplifying the electronic cues with a visceral immediacy that brought every moment to life. The entire presentation was directional, engaging and unquestionable proof that Stockhausen was not only onto something, but way ahead of the game.” Scotsman
Colin Currie & Sam Walton (percussion), Pavel Kolesnikov & Samson Tsoy (piano)
Ravel: Rhapsody Espanol M.54 for two pianos and two percussion
Rolf Wallin: Realismos mágicos (solo marimba)
Piano duo work
Bryce Dessner: Tromp Miniature (solo marimba)
Piano duo work
Bartók: Sonata for Two Pianos & Percussion
Colin Currie is at the summit of percussion performance today.
...the work confirms Currie’s status as an athlete and a star, as well as an outstanding musician.
The soloist was Colin Currie, surely the world’s finest and most daring percussionist.