At the pinnacle of his legendary career, performer and pedagogue Robert van Sice has assembled a stunning collection of young artists who are reinventing the concert experience. The Percussion Collective transcends the medium of percussion through uncommon performance experiences that surprise and engage audiences at a profound emotional level. The hallmarks of van Sice’s musical approach—precise execution, sonic refinement, and dynamic onstage communication—are all on display in the most vivid manner to date. Drawing from an incomparably rich bouquet of talent, The Percussion Collective flexes in size, offering exquisitely curated programs for an array of venues and settings.
Since the group’s inception in 2018, one of their hallmarks has been close collaborations with some of today’s most respected composers to create a new kind of repertoire for percussion. Grammy Award-winning composer Christopher Theofanidis crafted his sublime concerto Drum Circles as their first orchestral offering. In this piece, four members of The Percussion Collective along with the orchestra’s own percussion section surround the orchestra in a circle, creating an extraordinary spatial and theatrical effect. The world premier with maestro Carlos Kalmar and the Oregon Symphony was a resounding success and The Percussion Collective has subsequently performed the concerto with The Aspen Festival Orchestra and Michael Stern, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra with Carolyn Kuan, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Verizon Hall with Yu Won Kim, the Colorado Symphony with Brett Mitchell, the Baltimore Symphony with JoAnn Falletta, and, most recently with the Florida Orchestra to open their 23-24 season. Garth Neustadter’s concerto has taken them to The Louisville Symphony Orchestra with Teddy Abrams and The Boise Philharmonic with Eric Garcia.
In recital settings, the group’s unique ability to breathe as one is on full display. Emmy Award-winning composer Garth Neustadter’s magical portrait of the sea, Seaborne, is a collaboration with video artist Kjell van Sice commissioned by The Brookby Foundation for The Percussion Collective. This exquisite, 30-minute masterpiece takes the listener/viewer on a journey of sonic and visual beauty unlike any piece previously written for percussion. The group has performed the piece more than thirty times throughout the United States and will release their newly recorded CD of the work next season. In recent seasons, The Percussion Collective appeared in recital at the Cornell Concert Series and at the Frost School of Music in Miami. In 23-24, they premiere a new piece for chorus and percussion by Alejandro Viñao, including performances at Yale University and at New York’s Kaufman Cultural Center, and they premiere new works by Ke-Chia Chen and Kenji Bunch with violinist Paul Huang under the auspices of Washington Performing Arts.
The roster of The Percussion Collective includes some of the world’s most esteemed and dynamic young voices in the art form. They are drawn from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Camerata Pacifica and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, as well as faculty members from universities such as Miami’s Frost School of Music, Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, the University of Maryland, the University of Kansas, Mannes School of Music, Michigan State University, Arizona State University and the University of Massachusetts. Featuring players from Europe, Asia, and the US, this new generation of virtuosi represent the leading edge of innovation in concert conception and performance.
"The extraordinary percussion collective... brought the audience a level of artistry, beauty, and insight more commonly found in great string quartets."
"The four percussionists worked together so seamlessly that they almost seemed to share a kind of psychic connection. Hearing (and seeing) them perform was a pure joy."
"This was truly masterful performing, and it is a lesson it getting capacity crowds to contemporary music performances."