The group

Colin Currie

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 leading... read more orchestras and conductors.

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 for his achievements in 2014. 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, Simon Holt, Alexander Goehr, Dave Maric, Julia Wolfe and Nico Muhly. Looking ahead, in the coming seasons Currie will premiere new works by Andrew Norman, Ross Edwards and Mark-Anthony Turnage.

Currie is Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre where he was the focus of a major percussion festival Metal Wood Skin in autumn 2014, featuring world premieres of Steve Reich’s Quartet with the Colin Currie Group, Anna Clyne’s Secret Garden and the UK premieres of James MacMillan’s Percussion Concerto No.2 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Louis Andriessen’s Tapdance with Asko-Schoenberg Ensemble. Other highlights included a solo percussion recital for school children, The Big Percussion Workshop Day, and foyer performances with percussion students from London conservatoires

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Owen Gunnell

Percussion. Plays in: Drumming, Music for 18 Musicians, Sextet, Mallet Quartet, Music for Pieces of Wood

Adrian Spillett

Percussion. Plays in: Drumming, Music for 18 Musicians, Sextet, Mallet Quartet, Music for Pieces of Wood

Sam Walton

Percussion. Plays in: Drumming, Music for 18 Musicians, Quartet, Sextet, Mallet Quartet, Music for Pieces of Wood, Clapping Music

Simon Crawford-Phillips

Piano; percussion. Plays in: Music for 18 Musicians, Quartet, Sextet, Music for Pieces of Wood

Philip Moore

Piano. Plays in: Music for 18 Musicians, Quartet, Sextet

Catherine Ring

Percussion. Plays in: Drumming, Music for 18 Musicians, Sextet, Mallet Quartet

Rob Farrer

Percussion. Plays in: Drumming, Music for 18 Musicians

Richard Benjafield

Percussion. Plays in: Drumming, Music for 18 Musicians, Music for Pieces of Wood

George Barton

Percussion. Plays in: Drumming, Music for 18 Musicians

Tony Bedewi

Percussion. Plays in: DrummingMusic for 18 Musicians

Rowland Sutherland

Piccolo. Plays in: Drumming

Adam Clifford

Percussion. Plays in: Music for 18 MusiciansDrumming, Sextet, Mallet Quartet

“Another performance that knocked my socks off was Colin Currie and his group doing Drumming at the South Bank [in London] this year. It was miked up high, it was expressionist, it was a brand new take. And I thought, Oh, we never could have done it that way.”
Steve Reich on the Colin Currie Group, Irish Times

Colin Currie Group was formed for a performance at the 2006 BBC Proms when Colin Currie was asked to curate a late-night event celebrating the music of Steve Reich, then in his 70th birthday year. Currie assembled a group of outstanding percussionists who gave their five-star debut at the Proms featuring Steve Reich’s Drumming.

The Group went on to perform Drumming in a sell-out event at London’s Southbank Centre attended by the composer, who afterwards commented: “I think this man has taken this piece into another generation, yes, but beyond that into a finer level of performance and has opened it up to me as a kind of revelation, and I want to thank him.”

With Reich’s endorsement, Currie and his ensemble have taken on the role of ambassadors of Drumming. The ensemble has since performed the work to great acclaim at many major UK venues and festivals, including Cheltenham, Birmingham Town Hall, Bristol, Perth and again at London’s Southbank Centre.

Colin Currie Group have gone on to explore many of Steve Reich’s works, including Sextet, Mallet Quartet, Music for Pieces of Wood and Music for 18 Musicians. Their first performance of Music for 18 Musicians in 2013 was at a sold-out Royal Festival Hall in the presence of the composer, lauded as “technically impeccable and musically overwhelming” (Guardian) and “simultaneously static and bursting with event: a joyful conundrum” (Independent).

In 2014 the Group gave the premiere of a new work by Steve Reich Quartet for two pianos and two vibraphones at Southbank Centre prior to touring this work throughout Europe. In future seasons Colin Currie Group will continue to add to their repertoire, including performances of Tehillim in the UK (Royal Festival Hall) and Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall for two performances in March 2017.

The Group is in demand internationally, having made their international debut with two performances at Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall in 2012 and in August 2013 their European debut at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Recent seasons have included further performances at London’s Southbank Centre, Paris Cité de la Musique, Cologne Philharmonie, Prague Strings of Autumn Festival, Rotterdam De Doelen, Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, Gent, Dublin, Glasgow Minimal Festival, Cardiff and Saffron Hall.

2015-16 highlights included the Finnish premiere of Quartet at Helsinki Festival and multiple performances of Music for 18 Musicians including a return to Southbank Centre and two performances in Rotterdam. In 2016-17 Colin Currie Group will make their debut at Macau International Music Festival, as well as return to Southbank Centre and Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall for performances of Tehillim and further European performances including at Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg.