Colin Currie


Oregon Symphony Artist-in-Residence

Colin Currie last appeared with the Oregon Symphony on October 24, 2016, when he performed Andrew Norman’s Switch with conductor Carlos Kalmar.

A dynamic and adventurous soloist, Currie’s commitment to commissioning and creating new music was recognized in 2015 by the Royal Philharmonic Society, which 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, H.K. 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 John Corigliano, Helen Grime, and Simon Holt.

In addition to being artist-in-residence with the Oregon Symphony for his third and final season, 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’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 also premiered new works by Brett Dean and Joe Duddell with Håkan Hardenberger at Malmo Chamber Festival in September and Aldeburgh Music, 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 H.K. Gruber’s into the open . . . with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, conducted by H.K. 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 for Reich’s 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 and Nicholas Collon (NMC). His recording of Rautavaara’s Incantations with the Helsinki Philharmonic and 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 and MacMillan on Challenge Classics; Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with the London Philharmonic and 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 the Colin Currie Group, which was released by Nonesuch Records in February 2018.

In his third of three years as the Oregon Symphony’s artist-in-residence, Colin Currie will perform in the community and coach youth orchestra students around the region. These programs are made possible by generous support from Karen and Cliff Deveney.