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Evelyn Glennie

Dame Evelyn Glennie


Evelyn is the first person in musical history to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist. As one of the most eclectic and innovative musicians on the scene today she is constantly redefining the goals and expectations of percussion. By combining superb technique, a profound appreciation of the visual and her astonishing musicality, Evelyn creates performances of such vitality that they almost constitute a new type of performance.

Evelyn gives over 100 performances a year worldwide, performing with the greatest conductors, orchestras and artists. For the first ten years of her career virtually every performance was in some way a first – the first time an orchestra had performed with a percussion soloist, the first solo percussion performance at a venue or festival or the world premiere of a new piece. Her diversity of collaborations have included Nana Vasconcelos, Kodo, Bela Fleck, Bjork, Bobby McFerrin, Emmanuel Ax, Sting, Kings Singers, Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Fred Frith.

Evelyn has commissioned one hundred and fifty new works for solo percussion from many of the world’s eminent composers and also composes and records music for film and television. Her first high quality drama produced a score so original she was nominated for a BAFTA.

She has an equally illustrious recording career, her first CD, a recording of Bartok’s Sonata for two Pianos and Percussion, won her a Grammy in 1988. Two further Grammy nominations followed, one of which she won in 2002. Evelyn’s twelfth solo CD Shadow Behind the Iron Sun was based on a radical concept and has once again questioned people’s expectations. Despite working a relentless schedule Evelyn is in constant demand to release new recordings.

Evelyn has also written a best-selling autobiography Good Vibrations, collaborated with the director Thomas Riedelsheimer on his film Touch the Sound and presented two series of her own television programmes Soundbites for the BBC. Her regular appearances on television across the world include The David Letterman Show, Sesame Street, The South Bank Show, presenting and performing on Songs of Praise, Commonwealth Games Festival Concert, This is Your Life, 60 Minutes and PBS Profile.

Evelyn’s activities also include lobbying the Government, her consortium with Sir James Gallway, Julian Lloyd Webber and the late Michael Kamen successfully led to the government providing £332 million towards music eduction. In 1993 Evelyn was awarded the OBE. This was extended in 2007 to Dame Commander for her services to music and to date she has received over 85 international awards. She is brimming with ideas to improve the experience for the audience and continues to redefine the very format of live performance itself.




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