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Colin Currie

Percussion
Artist in Association, Southbank Centre, London
Visiting Professor of Modern Ensembles, Royal Academy of Music, London
Associate Artist, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Artistic Director, Colin Currie Group
Ambassador, Chamber Music Scotland

  • 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 leading orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Philharmonia Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestras.

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  • 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. 
     
    Currie’s concerto highlights of the 2023/24 season include Nicole Lizée’s Blurr is the Colour of My True Love's Eyes with Montreal Symphony and Freiburg Philharmonic, Danny Elfman’s Percussion Concerto with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Utah Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and performances at the Cabrillo Festival, Tampere Philharmonic and Polish National Radio.  Currie returns to the Grafenegg Academy in 2024 to coach, perform chamber music and give the Austrian premiere of Andrew Norman’s Switch with the Grafenegg Academy Orchestra and Ilan Volkov.
     
    Currie began conducting the music of Steve Reich with the Colin Currie Group, going on to conduct Reich and other composers with the London Symphony Orchestra, Asko/Schoenberg Ensemble, Britten Sinfonia, Grafenegg Academy and Royal Academy of Music. Currie has curated the Hallé Orchestra’s Steve Reich festival in February 2024, conducting two orchestral programmes, appearing alongside Jonny Greenwood, and performing chamber music with Hallé musicians and students from Royal Northern College of Music and Chetham’s School. Currie will also play/direct a programme with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra - continuing his long collaboration with this ensemble - and the Lapland Chamber Orchestra.  
     
    Currie is Artist in Association at London’s Southbank Centre, Artist in Residence at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Visiting Professor of Modern Ensembles at the Royal Academy of Music. 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. 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).

    Colin Currie plays Zildjian cymbals and is a Marimba One Artist.

    2023/24 season / 625 words. Not to be altered without permission.

Performances

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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

Concerto repertoire

For symphony orchestra or chamber orchestra


Kalevi Aho
Sieidi


Andy Akiho
Percussion Concerto 


John Corigliano
Conjurer


Joe Duddell
Ruby


Tan Dun
Concerto for Water Percussion


Danny Elfman
Percussion Concerto 


Peter Eötvös
Speaking Drums


Helen Grime
Percussion Concerto 


HK Gruber
Into the open... 
Rough Music


Jennifer Higdon
Percussion Concerto


Simon Holt
a table of noises


Robert Honstein
Juvenalia 


Nicole Lizee
Blurr is the Colour of My True Love's Eyes (premiere 2022)


Tania León
New concerto (premiere 2025)


Steven Mackey
Time Release


James MacMillan
Veni, Veni Emmanuel 
Percussion Concerto No. 2  


Bruno Mantovani
Allegro barbaro 


Dave Maric
Towards Future's Embrace

Andrew Norman
Switch 


Einojuhani Rautavaara
Incantations


Joey Roukens
Percussion Concerto


Christopher Rouse
Der gerettete Alberich


Mark-Anthony Turnage
Martland Memorial 


Julia Wolfe
Body Language


Iannis Xenakis
Aïs (baritone, percussion and orchestra)


For mixed ensemble or string ensemble


Louis Andriessen
Tapdance


Luke Bedford
Staggered Nocturne (premiere 2022)


Elliott Carter
Two Controversies and a Conversation


Joe Duddell
Snowblind 


Philippe Hurel
Quatre Variations (vibraphone and ensemble)


Dave Maric
Lifetimes 


Kurt Schwertsik
Now you hear me, now you don't (string orchestra)

Conductors

Marin Alsop
Andrey Boreyko
Dougie Boyd
Martyn Brabbins
Baldur Brönnimann
Alpesh Chauhan
Simon Crawford-Phillips
David Danzmeyer
Thomas Dausgaard
Tan Dun
JoAnn Falletta
Thierry Fischer
Michael Francis
Fabien Gabel
James Gaffigan
Edward Gardner
HK Gruber
Giancarlo Guerrero
Matthew Halls
Håkan Hardenberger
Miguel Harth-Bedoya
Antony Hermus
Manfred Honeck
Pietari Inkinen
George Jackson
Carlos Kalmar
Francois Leleux
Hannu Lintu
Brad Lubman
Christian Macelaru
Sir James MacMillan
Bruno Mantovani
Juanjo Mena
David Alan Miller
Gemma New
Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Eva Ollikainen
Sakari Oramo
Andrés Orozco-Estrada
Ruth Reinhardt
Andre de Ridder
David Robertson
François-Xavier Roth
Peter Rundel
Kwame Ryan
Donald Runnicles
Yutaka Sado
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Clemens Schuldt
Alexander Shelley
Leonard Slatkin
Dima Slobodeniouk
Chloé van Soeterstède
Tugan Sokhiev
Thomas Søndergård
Carl St Clair
John Storgårds
Frank Strobel
Rebecca Tong
Bramwell Tovey
Osmo Vänskä
Gilbert Varga
Ilan Volkov 
Joshua Weilerstein
Ludwig Wicki
John Wilson

Colin Currie Quartet

The Colin Currie Quartet was formed in 2018 to present the diverse music written for percussion quartet. Comprising Colin Currie, Owen Gunnell, Adrian Spillett and Sam Walton (also core members of the Colin Currie Group), the Quartet performs a variety of adventurous works, centring on those by Steve Reich and composers inspired by his influential writing. 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 to collectively present “a sonic display of startling magnificence” (Observer).


Recent highlights include performances at the BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall, Paris Présences Festival, GAIDA Festival, East Neuk Festival, Stoller Hall, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Dublin Chamber Music Festival, NCPA Beijing, Toolbox Hong Kong, Nagakute Cultural Center, NCPA Beijing and across the UK. Future performances include a number of premieres of new works by Guillaume Connesson, Anna Meredith, Freya Waley-Cohen, Ben Nobuto and Aileen Sweeney. During the 23/24 season, the Colin Currie Quartet present a new programme at the Wigmore Hall, perform at the Royal Welsh College and give a Scottish tour supported by Chamber Music Scotland.


Click to visit Film Gallery


Programmes
Andy Akiho Pillar I
Dave Maric Nascent Forms
Freya Waley-Cohen New work (premiere 23/24) 
interval
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
interval
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)
interval
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 Recital

Solo Percussion Recital


Elliott Carter Figment V
Per Norgaard Fire Over Water
Toshio Hosokawa Reminiscence
Bruno Mantovani Moi, jeu...
Interval
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."
Times


“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

Chamber projects

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
programme includes: 


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
Interval
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
Interval
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
Interval
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.

Gramophone

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

Guardian

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

Spectator

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Intermusica represents Colin Currie worldwide

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

Lucy Evans
Assistant Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9940
levans@intermusica.com

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

All artists

Chansonnier

HK Gruber

Counter-tenor

Tim Mead

Harpsichord

Richard Egarr

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles

Saxophone

Jess Gillam

Contralto

Avery Amereau