Dame Evelyn Glennie Awarded Polar Music Prize and Appearing with the HSO

Photo: Jim-Callaghan

Photo: Jim-Callaghan

Scottish virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie has been named 2015 Laureate of the prestigious Polar Music Prize, and will be appearing at the Reading Hexagon on Sunday 22 March with the Henley Symphony Orchestra.

Dame Evelyn, who has been profoundly deaf since the age of 12, said she was “humbled and inspired” to be awarded music’s version of the Nobel Prize. “This award is so interesting, because it is recognising many different musicians from different musical backgrounds.” “To be chosen from so many deserving people, from all genres of music, only makes me want to work harder, to make a difference and to rise to the occasion,” she said.

The Polar Music Prize is a Swedish international award founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson best known as the manager of the Swedish band ABBA The prize is awarded for significant achievements in music and has been called the “Nobel Prize for Music” in Sweden. Earlier recipients include Sir Paul McCartney and Chuck Berry.

Awarded Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2007, Evelyn Glennie is the most in-demand solo percussionist in the world. Turning 50 this year, she and is the first person to have created and sustained a full-time career as a solo percussionist. She led the drummers at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and has performed with the world’s finest orchestras and greatest conductors in the most prestigious concert halls.

The Henley Symphony Orchestra joins Evelyn Glennie on Sunday 22 March for a performance of one of the flagships of the marimba repertoire, Eric Ewazen’s Marimba Concerto. Requiring extraordinary accuracy, it is one of the most beautiful pieces written for the instrument. Evelyn will also perform Askell Masson’s thrilling Concert Piece for Snare Drum and Orchestra. This piece includes a cadenza that gives the soloist a chance to demonstrate a range of techniques and colours on the snare drum, which most people think of as having only one or two different sounds.

Evelyn Glennie’s superb technical ability and profound appreciation of the visual elements of percussion take her into the ranks of the elite, and an opportunity to see her perform locally should not be missed.

The percussion concertos are framed by two of the best loved and most recognised works in the classical repertoire:  the sparkling overture from Rossini’s ‘The Barber of Seville’ and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no 5 which clearly demonstrates why he was one of the romantic era’s finest composers.  Conducted by HSO’s guest conductor Jacques Cohen., this will be a special concert indeed.

Tickets priced £18 – £12, with half price for U16s and students and special group rates, are available though: Henley Symphony Orchestra 01235 859210 www.henleysymphonyorchestra.co.uk/contact
or www.readingarts.com (Booking fee applies)