Pioneers of Percussion

Joby Burgess, the “insanely talented British percussionist” (Chicago Classical Music) presents Pioneers of Percussion, a solo recital programme of new commissions and pioneering works, from the most innovative and creative composers of the 20th Century.

 Called a ‘brilliant musical scientist’ Montreal based Nicole Lizée’s new work with video, The Filthy Fifteen is a quasi documentary on censorship and the PMRC. Linda Buckley ‘leading figure in the younger generation of Irish composers’ contributes a new work in Ekstasis - fusing live sounds and electronics to create a moment of trance and rapture. Award-winning British composer Rebecca Dale’s Can’t Sleep for vibraphone and loops is inspired by study of the brain’s activity, at the edge of sleep.

Toru Takemitsu’s Seasons explores our changing weather and ecology with a delicate landscape of metallic melody and noise, featuring the aluminium harp. Iannis Xenakis’ Psappha explodes with muscular and abrasive rhythm taken from ancient Greek text. Also employing a graphic score, Morton Feldman uses only soft sounds in the great anti-percussion composition that twinkle like stars in the night.

The 9ft tall Capone-era Aluminium Harp, a typewriter, a giant steel sheet, loop pedals, graphic scores, electronics and video all feature in this revelatory programme from one of contemporary classical’s leading lights. 

One of Britain’s most diverse percussionists, Joby Burgess is best known for his virtuosic, often lissom performances, daring collaborations, extensive education work, and regularly appears throughout Europe, the USA and beyond. Both in the studio and on the road Joby Burgess works with artists including Graham Fitkin, Peter Gabriel, Will Gregory, John Lunn, Gabriel Prokofiev and Eric Whitacre.


Seasons Toru Takemitsu

Can’t Sleep Rebecca Dale 

Ekstasis Linda Buckley

Psappha Iannis Xenakis

King of Denmark Morton Feldman

The Filthy Fifteen Nicole Lizée


‘Tōru Takemitsu‘s Seasons for solo percussion, was a revelation; Joby Burgess navigated the panoply of instruments as though the music were occurring to him on the spur of the moment … utterly spell-binding.’



Generously supported with funds from Arts Council EnglandLancaster Arts and the Hinrichsen Foundation. Pioneers of Percussion is supported by PRS for Music FoundationBell Percussion

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