Guest Artist Bio
A foremost contributor to contemporary music and soloist of choice for composers from Steve Reich to Rautavaara, Colin Currie has been the driving force behind new percussion repertoire for more than a decade. Acclaimed for his virtuosity and musical integrity, Currie is a solo and chamber artist at the peak of his powers. Championing new music at the highest level, Currie is soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras, such as the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra and London Philharmonic.
Currie’s “athletic percussionism, compulsive showmanship and deep musicality” (The Guardian) has inspired composers from around the globe, and forthcoming commissions include new works written for Currie by Steve Reich, James MacMillan and Louis Andriessen. 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. Recent projects include premieres by composers such as Simon Holt, Kurt Schwertsik, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Jennifer Higdon, Alexander Goehr, and most recently Elliott Carter, whose double concerto Conversations Currie premiered with Pierre- Laurent Aimard at the Aldeburgh Festival in June 2011, conducted by Oliver Knussen.
Currie is Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre from the 2011/12 season onwards, a role which will allow Currie to develop new relationships with artists and ensembles across a variety of art forms, as well as take part in collaborative and educational projects. The residency also involves several major commission projects in future seasons including the world premiere of Kalevi Aho’s Percussion Concerto, which Currie performed in April 2012 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vanska. Currie’s other world premiere performances of this season include with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel in a new work by Joseph Pereira, Sally Beamish’s concerto Dance Variations with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra followed by performances with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and at Stanford Lively Arts in California, and Askell Masson’s Percussion Concerto with the Turku Philharmonic.
Concerto highlights this season include HK Gruber’s Rough Music at the NYYD Festival Tallinn conducted by the composer, Higdon’s Percussion Concerto conducted by Marin Alsop with the Baltimore Symphony in a subscription week followed by a tour of the USA’s West Coast, marimba concerti by Schwertsik and Hartl with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and performances of Rautavaara’s percussion concerto “Incantations” with the Houston Symphony under John Storgards and the RTE National Symphony with Hannu Lintu.
Elsewhere, Currie returns to the Utah Symphony with Thierry Fischer and makes his debut in Madrid with the RTVE Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his highly successful debut performance in 2010, Currie returns to the 2012 Grand Teton Festival to perform MacMillan’s “Veni, Veni, Emmanuel”, conducted by James Gaffigan.
Currie’s dynamic percussion ensemble, The Colin Currie Group, continues to receive critical acclaim for its performances of Steve Reich’s iconic work “Drumming”, following sell- out performances throughout the UK including at London’s Southbank Centre, Sound Festival Aberdeen, Bristol Colston Hall, Birmingham Town Hall and the 2011 Cheltenham Festival. Other recital projects include a new duo recital with trumpeter Hakan Hardenberger, which premiered in Aldeburgh, Hannover and the Far East in 2011 including new commissions by Lucas Ligeti, Christian Muthspiel and Tobias Brostrom.
Currie’s recording of Rautavaara’s “Incantations” with the Helsinki Philharmonic under John Storgards is released in Sping 2012 on the Ondine label. Previous CD releases by Currie include Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto conducted by Marin Alsop with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, a disc which won a 2010 Grammy Award, and Currie’s recital disc “Borrowed Time”, which features music by British composer Dave Maric and is available on the Onyx label.