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Colin Currie

Artist in Association, Southbank Centre, London
Artist in Residence, Oregon Symphony Orchestra

  • Hailed as “the world’s finest and most daring percussionist” (Spectator), 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.

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  • A dynamic and adventurous soloist, Currie’s unrivalled commitment to commissioning and creating new music was recognised in 2015 by the Royal Philharmonic Society who awarded him the Instrumentalist Award. From his earliest years Currie forged a pioneering path in creating new music for percussion, winning the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award in 2000 and receiving a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2005. Currie has premiered works by composers such as Steve Reich, Elliott Carter, Louis Andriessen, HK Gruber, Sir James MacMillan, Anna Clyne, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Ross Edwards, Jennifer Higdon, Kalevi Aho, Rolf Wallin, Kurt Schwertsik, Simon Holt, Alexander Goehr, Andrew Norman, Dave Maric, Julia Wolfe and Nico Muhly. Looking ahead, in the coming seasons Currie will premiere new works by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Harrison Birtwistle and Andy Akiho.

    Currie is Artist in Association at London’s Southbank Centre, where he was the focus of a major percussion festival Metal Wood Skin in 2014, featuring premieres by Steve Reich, Anna Clyne, James MacMillan Percussion Concerto No.2 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Louis Andriessen’s Tapdance with Asko-Schoenberg Ensemble alongside school’s concerts and percussion workshops. Currie is also Artist in Residence with Oregon Symphony Orchestra 2015/16 -2017/18. The three season residency includes annual performances with Oregon Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of a new percussion concerto by Andy Akiho, and extensive education and outreach work.

    Highlights of the 2016/17 season include the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Percussion Concerto with Marin Alsop and the Britten-Pears Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall, and a series of solo recitals including Washington, Princeton, Boston and Glasgow. Currie also makes his debut with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, performing MacMillan’s Veni, Veni, Emmanuel with Manfred Honeck conducting. Currie ends the season performing both MacMillan percussion concerti in a two week tour with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir James MacMillan. Other highlights include performances with Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Sinfonia Rotterdam and at the Grand Teton Music Festival.

    Currie’s dynamic 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. 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 venues and festivals internationally. Highlights of the 2016/17 season include their debut performance at Macau International Music Festival with Drumming, a return visit to Tokyo Opera City, Tehillim at Royal Festival Hall and two performances in Hamburg as part of the opening season of the Elbphilharmonie.

    Currie has recorded many concerto, recital and chamber works including most recently Andrew Norman’s Switch with Utah Symphony and Thierry Fischer, released on Reference Records. 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 Steve Reich’s Quartet with Colin Currie Group to be released by Nonesuch Records in coming seasons; his recording of Carter will be released on Ondine in 2017 as will his recording of Bartok on Hyperion.

    Colin Currie plays Zildjan cymbals and is a MarimbaOne Artist.

    2016/17 season / 602 words. Not to be altered without permission.


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Concerto repertoire

*possible for chamber orchestra

Kalevi Aho

Andy Akiho
Percussion Concerto (World premiere 2018)

Louis Andriessen

Sally Beamish
Dance Variations*

Elliott Carter
Two Controversies and a Conversation*

Unsuk Chin
Double Concerto (piano & percussion)*

John Corigliano

Joe Duddell
Snowblind (with string ensemble)*

Ross Edwards
Frog and Star Cycle (double concerto) 

Tan Dun
Concerto for Water Percussion

Peter Eötvös
Speaking Drums

Helen Grime
New Work (World premiere 2019)

HK Gruber
Into the open... 
Rough Music

Jennifer Higdon
Percussion Concerto

Simon Holt
a table of noises

Toshio Hosokawa

Zhou Long
Da Qu

Steven Mackey
Time Release*

James MacMillan
Percussion Concerto No. 2
Veni, Veni Emmanuel*

Dave Maric
Lifetimes (with string ensemble)*
Towards Future's Embrace*

Nico Muhly
Double Standard

Askell Masson
Crossings (concerto for two percussionists)
Percussion Concerto

Andrew Norman

Einojuhani Rautavaara

Joey Roukens
Rotterdam Concerto*

Christopher Rouse
Der gerettete Alberich

Kurt Schwertsik
Now you hear me, now you don't* (with string ensemble)

Michael Torke

George Tsontakis

Mark-Anthony Turnage
Martland Memorial 

Erkki-Sven Tüür

Julia Wolfe
riSE and fLY

Iannis Xenakis
Aïs (baritone, percussion and orchestra)


Marin Alsop
Andrey Boreyko
Dougie Boyd
Martyn Brabbins
Baldur Brönnimann
Tan Dun
Christoph Eschenbach
Thierry Fischer
James Gaffigan
HK Gruber
Giancarlo Guerrero
Manfred Honeck
Pietari Inkinen
Kristjan Järvi
Carlos Kalmar
Oliver Knussen
Hannu Lintu
James MacMillan
Juanjo Mena
Yannick Nezet-Seguin
Sakari Oramo
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
John Wilson

Solo Recital

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

"Rolling tremolandos gave an effect of aural marbling, with Currie’s dexterity and control of dynamic fluctuation as awe-inspiring as the piece itself."

Chamber projects

Colin Currie and Hakan Hardenberger
Trumpet and Percussion Duo

Joe Duddell Catch 10'
Luciano Berio Sequenza for Trumpet 15' (solo trumpet)
Tobias Brostrom Dream Variations 10'
Brett Dean The Scene of the Crime 10'
Rolf Wallin Realismos Magicos 15’ (solo marimba)
Lukas Ligeti Tangle 15'

“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 and Nicholas Hodges (percussion & piano)

Stockhausen Klavierstück V (piano)
Birtwistle Variations from the Golden Mountain (piano)
Feldman King of Denmark (percussion)
Birtwistle New duo work (piano & 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 Percussion Quartet

Joseph Pereira Mallet Quartet
Xenakis Rebonds B (solo percussion)
Stockhausen Vibra-Elufa (solo percussion)
Rolf Wallin Realismos Mágicos (solo percussion)
Kevin Volans 4 Marimbas – new work, 2018
Steve Reich Drumming Part 1

"The performances, led by Currie, seemed exemplary. Each performance worked like a well-oiled machine, the players appearing to stroll from one instrument to the next. It’s the musical equivalent of a high-wire act; everyone is striving mightily to seem relaxed, but we know disaster is only one slip away."
Daily Telegraph, October 2014

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

Adams Hallelujah Junction (piano duo)
Reich Quartet (two pianos, two vibraphones)
Wallin Realismos mágicos (solo percussion)
Bartók Sonata for Two Pianos & Percussion

Colin Currie and the Miro Quartet

Beethoven String Quartet Op. 95
Pereira Strophe
Torke Mojave
Schubert Quartettsatz in C minor D.703
Wallin Realismos Magicos (solo percussion)
Martland Starry Night

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


Currie is riveting to watch as well as hear, his body always tense with concentration. And yet the actual touch is measured and even gentle, each note placed just so.

Daily Telegraph

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


Intermusica represents Colin Currie worldwide

Catherine Gibbs
Associate Director
+44 20 7608 9946

Maebh Lehane
Assistant Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9924

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

All artists

Special projects

Charles Hazlewood


Mark Simpson


HK Gruber


Tim Mead

Rupert Enticknap

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles