Awarded Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2007 Evelyn Glennie is the first person in 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 creating performances of such vitality they almost constitute a new type of performance.
Since graduating with an Honours degree from the Royal Academy of Music, London at the age of 19, Evelyn gives more than 100 performances a year worldwide, performing with the greatest conductors, orchestras, and artists. Her diversity of collaborations includes visual mixing of live music with the likes of DJ Yoda and the ‘Beat Boxer’ Shlomo. She is also creating new challenges through her collaboration with the Dance Choreographer Marc Brew as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Other collaborations include Nana Vasconcelos, Kodo, Bela Fleck, Bjork, Bobby McFerrin, Sting, Emmanuel Ax, Kings Singers, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Fred Frith and the Taipei Traditional Chinese Orchestra. Evelyn Glennie was a featured solo performer in the opening ceremony of the Deaf Olympics in Taipei in 2009. She was also guest performer in the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002. In July 2012 Evelyn Glennie was honoured to take a lead role in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. In collaboration with Underworld Evelyn Glennie led 1000 drummers for the world premiere of And I will Kiss and also premiered Caliban’s Dream on a newly developed instrument called the ‘Glennie Aluphone’ accompanying the lighting of the flame.
Evelyn Glennie is the leading commissioner of around 170 new works for solo percussion from many of the world’s most eminent composers. As a triple GRAMMY award winner and BAFTA nominee Evelyn is in demand as a composer in her own right and records high quality music for film, television and music library companies. The film Touch the Sound and her enlightening TED speech remain key visual & audio testimonies to her approach to sound-creation.
Experience based on presenting two series of her own television programme (Soundbites) for the BBC and several radio programmes led to regular appearances on television across the world, including The David Letterman Show, Sesame Street, The South Bank Show, Songs of Praise, Wogan, This is Your Life, Through the Keyhole, The Des O’connor Show, 60 minutes, PBS Profile, Sky Arts Music Room, The Commonwealth Games Concerts and Zingzillas demonstrate an incredible journey by an extraordinary woman who continues to develop and evolve.
Evelyn Glennie’s solo recordings, which now exceed 30 CDs, have earned her three GRAMMY awards: one for her interpretation of Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, another for her premiere recording of Corigliano’s perucssion concerto Conjurer and one for Perpetual Motion – a collaboration with Bela Fleck. An additional nomination was received for her recording of Schwatner’s Percussion Concerto. Both Shadow Behind the Iron Sun and Sound Spirits continue to be bestselling albums that amply demonstrate the brilliant improvisational skills of this ground breaking performer. As a successful author she wrote her autobiography at the age of 24 and has written articles for Tom Tom Magazine for female drummers and remains a keen lobbyist for change and improvement in the world of music education. As an eminent global activist in the world of motivational speaking her message is delivered loud and clear on How to Listen to a variety of diverse corporate companies, key educational institutes as well as public and private events.
As a keen collector of percussion instruments Evelyn Glennie’s private collection is now estimated at over 1800 instruments. She continues to expand and explore natural materials such as stones & rocks to create new developments in the world of sound. Evelyn has collaborated with Geology departments at Leeds University in the UK on the development of two 21st Century Lithophones. One of these instruments is now housed in the Linton room at the former home of John Ruskin at Brantwood, Coniston, UK and the other at the Portland Stone Quarry Trust in the Drill Hall, Portland, Weymouth.
Her childhood fascination with trinkets led to her love of jewellery. Evelyn Glennie’s first range, ‘Percussion’, is inspired by her ancestral home on the Orkney Isles. Her second range, ‘Sound Colour’, inspired by the shades of sound, was added to the collection in 2012.
With over 86 international awards to date Evelyn Glennie continues to feed the next generation through advice and guidance. As a Consultant she offers prestigious and much sought after master classes and Lecture demonstrations to all types of instrumentalists. She also gives presentations to the sports world on visualisation techniques.
To this day, she continues to invest in realising her vision – to Teach the World to Listen. Evelyn Glennie and her company are looking to open a centre that embodies their mission: ‘to improve communication and social cohesion by encouraging everyone to discover new ways of listening. We want to inspire, to create, to engage and to empower’.
Evelyn Glennie is based in the beautiful countryside of Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.