Evelyn Glennie

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Evelyn Glennie at the Moers Festival 2004
Chart positions
Explanation of the data
Altamira (with Mark Knopfler )
  DE 68 04/29/2016 (2 weeks)
  CH 36 05/01/2016 (2 weeks)
Caliban's Dream (with Underworld and others)
  UK 12 08/04/2012 (5 weeks)

Dame Evelyn Glennie , CH , DBE (born July 19, 1965 in Aberdeenshire , Scotland ) is a British drummer and composer . She is a world-famous interpreter of contemporary music.

life and work

Evelyn Glennie grew up on her parents' farm in Aberdeenshire and started playing the timpani, drums and xylophone when she was twelve . At the same time, due to a nervous disease, her hearing deteriorated so severely that a few years later she had a hearing loss of 20%. Since then she has mainly perceived sounds and music through vibrations.

She studied piano and drums at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Concert tours take her to Japan, Europe and often to the USA. She performs with the world's major orchestras and with the most important contemporary music ensembles and gives numerous solo concerts, including several times at the popular Proms in London. In addition to over 100 concerts a year, she holds master classes and performs in schools. Glennie commissioned more than 50 concerts, 18 concert pieces, 56 solo works and two ensemble works from composers, with which she is constantly expanding her repertoire. For crossover projects she worked with musicians of various styles from all over the world, including Brazilian samba musicians, Japanese kodo drummers, Indonesian gamelan ensembles and the Icelandic singer Björk . Glennie himself also plays the Great Highland Bagpipes of her Scottish homeland.

In her recording studio north of London she experiments with unusual musical instruments and the suitability of everyday objects as percussion instruments. She owns over 1,800 percussion instruments (quote: "Every drum has its own personality"). In January 2006 she played one of Europe's oldest lithophones , the Musical Stones of Skiddaw , on a BBC radio show.

In 2012 she made a significant appearance at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics . Under the title “The Isles of Wonder”, the development of Great Britain from the agricultural country through the industrial revolution to today's everyday life and its current role as a cultural nation was presented in an almost four-hour show. Under the direction of Evelyn Glennie, a thousand drummers accompanied the transformation with the title "And I Will Kiss". Another highlight of the evening, the lighting of the Olympic flame, she accompanied with other musicians with the song "Caliban's Dream" by the band Underworld . The song was subsequently released and peaked at number 12 on the UK charts.

From 1994 to 2003 she was married to the composer, sound engineer and tuba player Greg Malcangi .

Her autobiography Good Vibrations (1990) became a bestseller. She also introduced herself and her music in the 2004 documentary Touch the Sound (director: Thomas Riedelsheimer ). She composed film music for numerous television productions for the BBC.

In addition to her musical career, she owns the photo agency EG Images , the jewelry label EG Jewelery with her own designs, a merchandising company EG Merchandising and the company EG 21st Guidance , for which she gives motivational lectures at companies and public events. She volunteers for non-profit organizations for the deaf, people with disabilities and young musicians. As a passionate motorcyclist, she has also publicly advocated more parking spaces for motorcycles.


She won a Grammy in 1988 for her recording of Béla Bartók's “Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion” . In 2002, Béla Fleck's album Perpetual Motion , on which she participated, also won a Grammy.

Glennie has received 15 honorary doctorates from British universities. In 1993 she was awarded the Order of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and in 2007 was elevated to the British nobility as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). In 2017 she was accepted into the Order of the Companions of Honor .

In March 2015 she was awarded the Swedish Polar Music Prize .



  • Béla Bartók: Sonata for 2 pianos and percussion , with Murray Perahia , Georg Solti and others, 1988 (Grammy 1998)
  • Rebounds - Concertos for Percussion , 1992, concerts by Darius Milhaud , among others , with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conductor: Paul Daniel
  • Wind in the Bamboo Grove , 1995, with Keiko Abe, Akiro Yuama and others
  • Drumming , 1996
  • Music of Joseph Schwantner , 1997, with Vernon E. Jordan and the National Symphony Orchestra, conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Reflected in Brass , 1998
  • Evelyn Glennie meets the Black Dyke Band - Reflected in Brass , 1998, with James Watson and the Black Dyke Mills Band (nominated for a Grammy 1998)
  • Her Greatest Hits (2 CDs), 1998
  • The King's Singers : Street Songs , 1998
  • Shadow Behind the Iron Sun , 2000
  • UFO. The Music of Michael Daugherty , 2001
  • Heath: African Sunrise / Manhattan Rave , 2001
  • Orange Red , 2001
  • Bela Fleck: Perpetual Motion , 2001 (Grammy 2002)
  • Oriental Landscapes , 2002, with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, conductor: Lan Shui
  • Light in Darkness , with Philip Smith
  • Rhythm Song , with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Barry Wordsworth
  • Veni, Veni Emmanuel by James MacMillan , with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conductor: Paul Daniel
  • Evelyn Glennie à Luxembourg , with the Orchester Philharmonique du Luxembourg, conductor: Bramwell Tovey, (DVD) (2004)
  • Erkki-Sven Tüür : magma , 2007


  • Evelyn Glennie: Listen World! (Hearing Others' Voices) . Balestier Press, London 2019, ISBN 978-1-911221-64-7 .
  • Evelyn Glennie: Good vibrations. My autobiography . Hutchinson, London 1990, ISBN 0-09-174305-2 .


  • Thomas Riedelsheimer: Touch the Sound - A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie. D / UK 2004, 100 min, color

Web links

Commons : Evelyn Glennie  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

supporting documents

  1. Caliban's Dream (single) in the UK charts
  2. Altamira (soundtrack album) in the charts of Germany and Switzerland
  3. New Year Honors 2017: Anna Wintour, Ken Dodd and Ray Davies on list , BBC December 30, 2016, accessed January 13, 2017