There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Classical percussionists have never really been given the opportunity to enjoy the solo spotlight. Other orchestral sections have their Joshua Bells, Yo-Yo Mas, and Jean-Pierre Rampals, but when it comes to the real noisemakers, the current repertoire just doesn’t allow extended solos. Fortunately for us, Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie has tackled this dilemma by championing lesser- known, drum-heavy classical works like Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion as well as performing new pieces like Joseph Schwantner’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, which she recorded with the National Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin. Glennie’s instrumental prowess encompasses everything from marimba to exhaust pipe. And while her press releases no longer mention that the percussionist is deaf, knowing that Glennie “hears” by feeling vibrations makes you appreciate the full scope of her brilliance. If she’s not collaborating with Bjork, composing the score for a Mazda commercial, or recording a Grammy-winning album, she’s touring relentlessly. on her latest disc, Shadow Behind the Iron Sun, Glennie improvises on a variety of unconventional instruments from her collection of more than 700, including bowed vibraphone, thundersheet, ektar, and waterphone. Tonight’s performance by the versatile Glennie and pianist Philip Smith features newly commissioned works for marimba, drums, cymbal, and bagpipes (her other specialty). At 5 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall. $20-$45. (202) 467-4600. (Amy Domingues)