For 20 years and counting, Sō Percussion has redefined chamber music for the 21st century through an “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam” (The New Yorker). The group is celebrated by audiences and presenters for a dazzling range of work: for live performances in which “telepathic powers of communication” (The New York Times) bring to life the vibrant percussion repertoire; for an extravagant array of collaborations in classical music, pop, indie rock, contemporary dance, and theater; and for its work in education and community building, creating opportunities and platforms for music and artists that explore the immense possibilities of art in our time.
Recent highlights have included performances at the Elbphilharmonie, Big Ears 2022, where the group played Amid the Noise, premiered a new work by Angélica Negrón with the Kronos Quartet, and performed its Nonesuch album with Caroline Shaw, Let the Soil Play Its Simple Part; and a return to Carnegie Hall, where it performed new collaborations with Nathalie Joachim, and Dominic Shodekeh Talifero. Narrow Sea, the group’s Nonesuch recording with Caroline Shaw, Dawn Upshaw, and Gilbert Kalish, won the 2022 Grammy Award for Best Composition. Other albums include A Record Of… on Brassland Music with Buke and Gase, and an acclaimed version of Julius Eastman’s Stay On It on the new imprint Sō Percussion Editions. This adds to a catalogue of more than 25 albums featuring landmark recordings of works by David Lang, Steve Reich, Steve Mackey, and many others.
During the summer of 2022, Sō performed at the Music Academy of the West Festival, Newport Classical, and Time Spans in New York, as well as four concerts at Our Festival in Helsinki, a visit that included a performance of Let the Soil with Caroline Shaw. Other dates this coming season include concerts at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, the Barbican Centre in London, the Kennedy Center, and at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. This fall, Sō Percussion begins its ninth year as the Edward T. Cone performers-in-residence at Princeton University.
Rooted in the belief that music is an elemental form of human communication, and galvanized by forces for social change in recent years, Sō enthusiastically pursues a range of social and community outreach through its nonprofit organization, including partnerships with local ensembles including Pan in Motion and Castle of Our Skins; the group’s Brooklyn Bound concert series; a studio residency program in Brooklyn; and the Sō Percussion Summer Institute, an intensive two-week chamber music seminar for percussionists and composers.