World renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie returns to Liverpool after Olympic ceremony triumph

A decade since her last performance in Liverpool and fresh from playing at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, world renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie returns to the city’s Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Saturday 18 August as part of DaDaFest 2012, the world’s longest running festival of Disability and Deaf Arts. DaDaFest organisers are now pleased to announce that some renowned young Liverpool musicians will join the line up at this event, performing as a warm up for Evelyn Glennie.

Liverpool’s Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra will perform The Jasmine Flower – a new 10 minute work. Liverpool Signing Choir and the Shanghai Deaf School will perform in conjunction with this production, originally inspired by a collaboration with creatively adventurous music-maker and master of the cross-cultural collaboration Jah Wobble back in 2008.

Founded almost a quarter of a century ago by one of mainland China’s most renowned musicians and composers, Li Kiu Hsiung, Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra was the first Chinese youth orchestra of its kind in Europe and remains the largest to this day, with few rivals. The 20-–strong orchestra has won a string of awards and performed at London’s Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall, as well as making numerous television appearances, including Blue Peter. It was also a cornerstone of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture bid for 2008 and played a large part in the celebrations. Ranging from just 4 to 24 years of age, members of the orchestra include locally born Chinese children, as well as recent arrivals from China and others from Taiwan, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Liverpool Signing Choir brings together children from schools in the area. It is made up of around 100 young people aged from 6 to 24, with a mixture of deaf and hearing members. Following Evelyn Glennie’s performance at the Olympic Opening Ceremony, Liverpool Signing Choir are delighted to be performing at the Closing Ceremony, showcasing their talents to the world.

Evelyn Glennie’s performance will include a number of contemporary and classical music works for percussion including ‘Clapping Music’ by Steve Reich, ‘Rhythmic Caprice’ by Leigh Howard Stevens and her own arrangement of ’Libertango’ by Piazolla. In the second part of the evening, she will give a talk on what being a musician means to her, how her career as a musician has developed and how she learned to feel sound in order to become a professional musician, followed by a question and answer session.

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 is constantly redefining the goals and expectations of percussion by creating performances of such vitality they almost constitute a new type of performance. The Grammy-winning percussionist and composer became almost completely deaf by the age of 12, but her hearing loss brought her a deeper understanding of and connection to the music she loves. She’s the subject of the documentary Touch the Sound, which explores this unconventional and intriguing approach to percussion. 

Glennie’s music challenges the listener to ask where music comes from: Is it more than simply a translation from score to instrument to audience? How can a musician who has almost no hearing play with such sensitivity and compassion?

Evelyn said: ‘I am looking forward to performing as part of this year’s DaDaFest and believe that it is an exciting organisation, which is doing such a good job in pushing the boundaries of Disability and Deaf Arts, giving so many opportunities to deaf and disabled artists. I am excited about the prospect of performing again at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, sharing my music and thoughts with the people of this wonderful and vibrant city.’

You can view Evelyn Glennie’s TED Talk on how to listen by clicking: http://www.ted.com/talks/evelyn_glennie_shows_how_to_listen.html

“Evelyn Glennie is simply a phenomenon of a performer.” New York Times



Saturday 18 August, 7.30pm

Tickets: £20 – £27.50
How to Book: You can book in person at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street. Alternatively, call 0151 709 3789 or click www.dadafest.co.uk

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