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Evelyn Glennie

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Famed classical percussionist Evelyn Glennie was born near Aberdeen, Scotland. At the age of 12, she became profoundly deaf due to nerve damage. Despite this severe handicap, Evelyn Glennie maintained her goal of becoming a classically trained solo percussionist. While in elementary school she learned to lip-read and also developed a technique for detecting musical pitch and volume. Standing on the outside of the practice room Glennie would place her hands on the walls and pay attention to the vibrations she felt. It was in this way that she was able to sense music. Following elementary school Glennie attended the Royal Academy of Music in London where she won many percussion competitions. Glennie also won many scholarships, including a Munster Trust Scholarship which allowed her to hone her percussion skills in Japan. Since that time Glennie has achieved worldwide recognition for her superb playing while performing with many great orchestras around the globe. She won a Grammy for her rendition of Bartok's "Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion" with Georg Solti, David Corkhill, and Murray Perahia, and has been featured in several BBC documentaries. Glennie has also received a few honorary doctorates and has collaborated with such diverse players as Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos and Icelandic pop-star-diva Björk. ~ John Vallier

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19 July 1965 in Aberdeen, Scotland

Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s