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Who are the best percussionists today?

Here are the 6 best percussionists performing across the world today

Best percussionists

Evelyn Glennie

Dame Evelyn Glennie enjoys a hugely successful international performance career as a leading percussionist. Over the course of her career, she has commissioned over 200 new works for tuned and untuned percussion, dramatically increasing the percussion repertoire. 

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Born in Scotland in 1965, Glennie has received multiple awards including the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Best Soloist of the Year in 1991 and the Best Chamber Music Performance in the 1989 Grammy Awards. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2002, Dame of the British Empire in 2007, and has been awarded 15 honorary doctorates from universities in the United Kingdom.

The best recordings by percussionist Evelyn Glennie

Colin Currie

Another Scot, Currie was the first percussionist to reach the finals of BBC Young Musician of the Year (1994), was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2003-05 and is the founder of his own Colin Currie Group. Elliott Carter, Jennifer Higdon and Thea Musgrave have all written works for him.

Adrian Spillett

In 1998, while a student at the Royal Northern College of Music, Adrian Spillett became the first percussionist to win BBC Young Musician of the Year. The following year he formed the ensemble 4-MALITY with which he has toured extensively. He has performed with several major UK orchestras.

Pei-Ching Wu

A founder-member of the Ju Percussion Group, Wu has innovated marimba playing techniques involving up to six mallets. In 1999 she appeared with the Hungarian Amadinda Percussion Group in the Budapest Spring Festival and performed with pianist Martha Argerich in Taipei in 2001.

Simone Rubino

The Italian made a spectacular impression when he won the ARD-Musikwettbewerb in 2014, performing Avner Dorman’s Frozen in Time. He has recorded several albums, including 2019’s Water & Spirit for Sony.

O Duo

Formed in 2001 by Owen Gunnell and Oliver Cox while studying at the Royal College of Music, O Duo have toured to glowing press reviews and have recorded two albums for Champs Hill. Since 2018, Cox’s place in the duo has been filled by Toby Kearney.

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