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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 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, James MacMillan, Anna Clyne, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Jennifer Higdon, Kalevi Aho, Rolf Wallin, Kurt Schwertsik, Alexander Goehr, Andrew Norman, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Julia Wolfe and Nico Muhly. Looking ahead, in the coming seasons Currie will premiere new works by Andy Akiho, Helen Grime and Simon Holt.

    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 and continues to perform there every season. 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, extensive education and outreach work, and this season sees the world premiere of Andy Akiho’s Percussion Concerto in April 2018, conducted by Carlos Kalmar.

    Currie’s 2017/18 season is marked by a number of other premieres including a new work for piano and percussion by Sir Harrison Birtwistle with Nicolas Hodges at the Library of Congress and London’s Southbank Centre. Currie will also premiere new works by Brett Dean and Joe Duddell with Håkan Hardenberger at Malmo Chamber Festival this September and Aldeburgh Music in November 2017, and a new work for percussion and electronics by Dave Maric with the Scottish Ensemble.

    Other highlights of 2017/18 include the Scandinavian premiere of HK Gruber’s into the open… with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, conducted by HK Gruber, and a series of solo recitals including The Schubert Club, Budapest, Lawrence University and at Sir James MacMillan’s The Cumnock Tryst. Currie’s orchestral engagements include Houston Symphony, Antwerp Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Het Gelders Orkest, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and Brno Contemporary Orchestra.

    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 2017/18 season include the release of the group’s debut recording of Drumming and performances at King’s Place and Saffron Hall.

    In October 2017 Currie launched Colin Currie Records, in conjunction with LSO Live, as a platform for his diverse projects, celebrating the extraordinary developments for percussion music over the past century. The label’s first release will be the debut recording of the Colin Currie Group: Steve Reich’s Drumming, out in March 2018.

    Currie has recorded many concerto, recital and chamber works including most recently Elliott Carter’s Two Controversies and a Conversation with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Oliver Knussen (Ondine) and Simon Holt’s a table of noises with The Hallé Orchestra/Collon (NMC). 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 February 2018.

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

    2017/18 season / 665 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

Robert Honstein
New Work (World premiere 2019)

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

Olga Neuwirth
Trurliade-Zone Zero

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
Michael Francis
Fabien Gabel
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

“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.”
Financial Times

Chamber projects

Colin Currie and Håkan Hardenberger
Trumpet and Percussion Duo

Joe Duddell Catch
Karlheinz Stockhausen Vibra-Elufa (solo percussion)
André Jolivet Heptade
Tobias Brostrom Dream Variations
Rolf Wallin Realismos Mágicos (solo percussion)
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 Percussion Quartet

Joseph Pereira Mallet Quartet
Xenakis Rebonds B (solo percussion)
Stockhausen Vibra-Elufa (solo percussion)
Steve Reich Mallet Quartet
Kevin Volans Four Marimbas
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 and the JACK Quartet

Suzanne Farrin Hypersea (percussion & string quartet)
Rolf Wallin Realismos Mágicos (solo percussion)
Simon Holt Quadriga (percussion & string quartet)
Zosha di Castri String Quartet (string quartet)
Steve Martland Starry Night (percussion & string quartet)

Colin Currie & Huw Watkins (percussion & piano)

Dave Maric Predicaments
Stravinsky Britten Holiday Diary (solo piano)
Joe Duddell Parallel Lines
Tansy Davies Dark Ground (solo percussion)
Helen Grime Harp of the North (solo piano)
Huw Watkins New Work for percussion & piano

Colin Currie and 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), 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


...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

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Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles