The Kennedy Center

Dame Evelyn Glennie


Dame Evelyn Glennie 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 constantly redefines the goals and expectations of percussion. By combining superb technique, a profound appreciation of the visual, and her astonishing musicality, Glennie creates performances of such vitality that they almost constitute a new type of performance.

Evelyn Glennie gives more than 100 performances a year worldwide, performing with the greatest conductors, orchestras, and artists. Her diversity of collaborations have included performances with artists such as Nana Vasoncelos, Kodo, Bela Fleck, Bjork, Bobby McFerrin, Emmanuel Ax, Sting, Kings Singers, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Fred Frith. She has commissioned 150 new works for solo percussion from many of the world's most eminent composers and also composes and records music for film and television.

Glennie's recording career has been as illustrious as her performing and composing career. Her first CD won her a Grammy in 1988; two Grammy nominations followed, one of which she won in 2002 for a collaboration with Bela Fleck. Despite working a relentless schedule, she is in constant demand to release new recordings (twenty-five so far).

Outside of actual performance the Evelyn Glennie brand is constantly exploring other areas of creativity—writing a bestselling autobiography, Good Vibrations; collaborating with the renowned film director Thomas Riedelsheimer on the film Touch the Sound; presenting two series of her own television programs (Soundbites) for the BBC; and regularly appearing on television across the world (The David Letterman Show, Sesame Street, 60 Minutes, and many more). After twenty years in the music business Glennie has begun teaching privately, allowing her to explore the world of sound therapy as a means of communication.

In 1993 Glennie was awarded the OBE (Officer of the British Empire). This was extended in 2007 to Dame Commander for her services to music, and to date she has received more than eighty 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.
Evelyn Glennie