Most professional concert biographies are essentially CV's in prose form. Trying to create a biography of this type for Evelyn is virtually impossible. Listing only the top class orchestras and conductors with whom Evelyn has performed, the awards and the famous concert venues, would result in a biography consisting of too many pages to be practical. Our solution in the past has been to list only a few items. This results in a biography that barely scratches the surface and has varying degrees of relevance depending on the country in which it is published.
In an attempt to help solve this problem we have come up with a new concept, the "Mix & Match Biography". Below is the basic outline of a biography which explains the background of Evelyn's career. Please feel free to edit this document and add whichever details you feel are applicable from the "Details" panel. You may also want to include other items from pages found in the "Documents" section, the Awards or Commissions for example.
Please note the lists of orchestras, venues and conductors with whom Evelyn has appeared are not yet complete.
Finally, a personal request from Evelyn. When editing the biography please don't mention Evelyn's hearing. Please refer to the Hearing Essay and the Disability Speech to understand the reasons why.
Every area of human endeavour has it's stars. Highly talented champions who contribute to the popularisation of their chosen field. However, once in a while someone is born with such great talent and power of personality that they exist beyond the bounds of the times in which they live. These exceedingly rare individuals not only popularise and dominate their field of endeavour, they actually redefine it. They cause the rest of us to re-evaluate our concept of the impossible. Within her field of endeavour Evelyn Glennie is such a person. To individually list all of Evelyn's awards and achievements is not only impossible but a pointless exercise. For the first ten years of her career virtually every performance Evelyn gave was in some way a first. The first time an orchestra had performed with a percussion soloist, the first solo percussion performance at a venue or festival or the world premiere of a new percussion concerto.
Evelyn gives more than 100 performances a year all over the world to universal critical acclaim from the toughest of reviewers in many of the world's most esteemed publications. The fact that Evelyn has performed with virtually all of the world's finest orchestras and greatest conductors in the most famous concert halls only proves that Evelyn is one of the world's top international concert soloists and the most in demand solo percussionist in the world. What takes Evelyn a step beyond the ranks of the elite is that she combines her superb technical abilities, a profound appreciation of the visual elements of percussion along with her astonishing musicality to create performances of such stunning vitality that they almost constitute a new type of performance. To this end Evelyn has commissioned over ninety new works for solo percussion from many of the world's most talented composers. Despite all the advice to the contrary, Evelyn is not only the first person to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist in the history of classical music but is redefining the goals and expectations of percussion students, orchestras, concert promoters and the general public the world over.
Evelyn's recording career has been as illustrious as her performing career. Evelyn's first CD, a recording of Bartok's "Sonata for two Pianos and Percussion" won her a Grammy in 1988. Rather than an ambition achieved, winning the most highly regarded recording prize in the world was only the first step for Evelyn. Subsequent solo recordings have earned a further two Grammy nominations, a Classic CD Award and great critical acclaim. Evelyn's twelfth solo CD, Shadow Behind the Iron Sun (BMG Records) was based on a radical concept and has once again questioned people's expectations. Despite working a relentless schedule Evelyn is in constant demand to release new recordings, her thirteenth and most recent disc was released in late 2000.
Outside of actual performance Evelyn excels in everything to which she turns her hand. From writing a bestselling autobiography, Good Vibrations, to hosting two series of her own television programs for the BBC. More recently, Evelyn has teamed up with Greg Malcangi, to compose, record and produce music for film and television. As in her performance career, Evelyn has already made a significant impact. Evelyn and Greg's first foray into the area of TV commercials resulted in such innovative music that it was subsequently paraphrased by others. Their first high quality drama produced a score so original they were nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award; the UK equivalent of the Oscars.
Evelyn Glennie has already achieved virtually every accolade or ambition of which any aspiring musician could possibly dream. Talking with Evelyn, either privately or on air, is a humbling experience. Seeing how unaffected she is by her amazing accomplishments is enough to make you question your understanding of what is possible. Evelyn herself though, feels she has barely scratched the surface. She is still full of drive and enthusiasm and is brimming with ideas to improve the experience for the audience and redefine the very format of live performance itself.