Drum circles | Christopher Theofanidis

This new work, Drum Circles, will be a 20-25 minute concerto for percussion and orchestra. It will feature the concerto ‘soloists’, a percussion ensemble of four members of The Percussion Collective, plus three members of the orchestra’s own percussion section. Theofanidis writes, "I envision the traveling ensemble as extremely portable, being able to use only the core of instruments from the orchestra’s own battery of instruments." The ensemble will be spatially surrounding the orchestra and will navigate a virtuosic dialogue with the orchestra both coloristically and rhythmically. The four movements of the concerto tentatively have the sub-titles:

1. Somebody play something

2. One has to transcend what one cannot change

3. How can you smile when you are deep in thought?

4. Three chords and the truth


The orchestration will be:

2 flutes (2nd dbl picc)

2 oboes (2nd dbl Eng hn)

2 b-flat clarinets (2nd dbl bass)

2 bassoons (2nd dbl contra)

4 horns

3 c trumpets

2 trombones

1 bass trombone

1 harp

2-3 percussion



About the Composer

Christopher Theofanidis has had performances by the London Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others. He has been twice nominated for a grammy for best classical composition, and his works Rainbow Body and Dreamtime Ancestors are two of the most performed orchestral works of the new millennium. Mr. Theofanidis has written widely for the stage, including works for the San Francisco and Houston Grand Opera companies, as well as the American Ballet Theatre. He has a special relationship with the Atlanta Symphony and Maestro Robert Spano, and has made several recordings with that ensemble. Mr. Theofanidis is a former faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School, and is currently a professor at Yale University and composer-in-residence of the Aspen Music Festival.