When the BBC Young Musician of the Year began 38 years ago no-one thought about percussionists as solo instrumentalists. The idea of a percussion strand within the competition was not even a pipe dream. What happened to change this? The simple answer is Evelyn Glennie. This brilliant musician from Aberdeen overcame deafness to become a major international soloist and ambassador for her instruments. Perhaps the iconic moment of transformation was the premiere of James MacMillan's Veni, Veni Emmanuel at the 1992 Proms with the SCO. An amazing night - I know because I was there! The piece catapulted Evelyn to international stardom and percussionists took it up all over the world. BBC Young Musicians developed a percussion strand and Adrian Spillett won the competition in 2012. 10 years behind Evelyn comes another equally gifted Scottish percussionist Colin Currie. Currie is the soloist of choice for many of today’s foremost composers and conductors and he performs with the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and London Philharmonic and Orchestras. A dynamic and adventurous soloist, Currie’s commitment to commissioning and creating new music was recognised in 2015 by the Royal Philharmonic Society who awarded him the Instrumentalist Award. If only we could present him in recital at Perth Concert Hall to lift our spirits. He does broadcast frequently on BBC Radio 3 so, as I said in Sunday's blog, watch this space.
Colin Currie group plays Steve Reich's Drumming here
Evelyn Glennie plays Veni Veni Emmanuel at the Proms click here