Performance Friday, February 12, 2016 | 9 PM

So Percussion

Zankel Hall
“Through a mix of consummate skill and quirky charm, this mercurial quartet has helped to ignite an explosive new enthusiasm for percussion music old and new,” says The New York Times about Sō Percussion. This program includes a new piece by Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, whose works combine impeccable rhythms with fleeting, haunting melodies. “The range of colors and voices that Sō Percussion coaxes from its menagerie is astonishing and entrancing” (Billboard).

Part of Late Nights at Zankel Hall.


  • So Percussion
    ·· Eric Cha-Beach
    ·· Josh Quillen
    ·· Adam Sliwinski
    ·· Jason Treuting
  • Shara Worden, Voice
  • Glenn Kotche, Percussion


  • GLENN KOTCHE Drumkit Quartets
    ·· #50 (Leffinge, Chicago)
    ·· #54 (Vienna)
    ·· #51 (Tokyo, Brisbane, Berlin) (with Yuka Honda, Voice)
    ·· #3 Movement III (Minneapolis, Chicago)
  • GLENN KOTCHE Migrations (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • GLENN KOTCHE Drumkit Quartet #1 (Los Angeles, Russell, Auckland)
  • STEVEN MACKEY Before It Is Time (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • SO PERCUSSION / SHARA WORDEN Timeline (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.


  • So Percussion

    For more than a decade, Sō Percussion has redefined the modern percussion ensemble as a flexible, omnivorous entity, pushing its voice to the forefront of American musical culture. Sō's adventurous spirit is written into the DNA passed down from composers like John Cage and Steve Reich, as well as from pioneering ensembles like the Kronos Quartet and Nexus Percussion. Sō Percussion's career now encompasses 19 albums, touring throughout the US and around the world, a dizzying array of collaborative projects, several ambitious educational programs, and a steady output of its own music.

    When the founding members of Sō Percussion convened as graduate students at the Yale School of Music, their initial goal was to present an exciting repertoire of pieces by 20th-century luminaries such as John Cage, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis. An encounter with David Lang, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and co-founder of New York's Bang on a Can organization, yielded the group's first commissioned piece, the so-called laws of nature.

    Sō Percussion's artistic circle extends beyond its contemporary classical roots. It first expanded this boundary with the prolific duo Matmos. Further projects and appearances with Wham City shaman Dan Deacon, legendary drummer Bobby Previte, jam-band kings Medeski Martin & Wood, The National's Bryce Dessner, and Wilco's Glenn Kotche drew the circle even wider.

    Sō's recording of the so-called laws of nature became the cornerstone of its self-titled debut album on Cantaloupe Music in 2004. In 2011, Sō released six new albums that range from its definitive recording of Steve Reich's Mallet Quartet-composed for the group in 2009-on Nonesuch Records, to Steve Mackey's epic quartet It Is Time on Cantaloupe and the collaborative album Bad Mango with jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas on Greenleaf Music. Recent albums include Bryce Dessner's Music for Wood and Strings and Bobby Previte's TERMINALS. On February 26, its new album Glenn Kotche: Drumkit Quartets: Sō Percussion releases on Cantaloupe Music.

    Recent highlights include David Lang's percussion concerto man made with Gustavo Dudamel for the opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic season; Bryce Dessner's Music for Wood and Strings at the Barbican in London and at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival; and an original score for a live performance and broadcast of WNYC's Radiolab with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Looking ahead, Sō Percussion is featured in a series of performances at the 2016 Lincoln Center Festival.

    Sō Percussion is heavily involved in mentoring young musicians. Its members are the Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence at Princeton University, working with both Princeton-affiliated composers and the broader university community. In 2009, they created the annual Sō Percussion Summer Institute on the campus of Princeton. They are also co-directors of the percussion department at the Bard College Conservatory of Music. Visit for more information.

    More Info

  • Shara Worden

    Born in "the Diamond state" of Arkansas to a family of musical traveling evangelists, Shara Worden moved across America throughout her youth, then went on to study classical voice at the University of North Texas. After moving to New York, she began composition lessons with Padma Newsome and assembled her chamber pop band, My Brightest Diamond, in 2001, subsequently releasing four albums on Asthmatic Kitty Records. Worden has received commissions from yMusic, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Young New Yorkers' Chorus, Brooklyn Rider, Nadia Sirota, and Roomful of Teeth. Additionally, many composers, songwriters, and filmmakers have sought out Worden's distinctive voice, including David Lang, David Byrne, The Decemberists, Bryce Dessner, Steve Mackey, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Sufjan Stevens, and Matthew Barney.

    More Info

  • Glenn Kotche

    Chicago-based percussionist and composer Glenn Kotche has been called one of the most exciting, creative, and promising composers and performers in modern music. He has released four solo albums and multiple recorded collaborations, including his latest with John Luther Adams, Ilimaq (Cantaloupe Music).

    Kotche has been commissioned by renowned ensembles and individuals, including Kronos Quartet, The Silk Road Ensemble, Bang on a Can All-Stars, eighth blackbird, Sō Percussion, Brooklyn Rider, Maya Beiser, Third Coast Percussion, Victoire, Jeff Zeigler, and Roomful of Teeth.

    In addition to his work as a composer and percussionist, Kotche has played on more than 90 records and is a member of the groundbreaking Chicago-based rock band Wilco. Since 2001, he has recorded six studio albums with Wilco, including the seminal Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and the Grammy-winning A Ghost Is Born.

    Beyond Wilco, Kotche records and performs regularly with Darin Gray in the duo On Fillmore. He is also a member of the trio Loose Fur with Jim O'Rourke and Jeff Tweedy. Kotche holds workshops and residencies at universities, museums, and other institutions, and has also created several sound installations, including Spy on the Wall, housed at MASS MoCA since 2010.

    Kotche resides in Chicago with his wife andtwo children.

    More Info


Pre-concert talk starts at 8:00 PM in Zankel Hall with members of So Percussion, Glenn Kotche, Shara Worden, and Steven Mackey in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.

At a Glance

Glenn Kotche’s Drumkit Quartets explores the timbral, textural, melodic, and rhythmic possibilities of the drumkit through a series of pieces that were all written in different cities while Kotche was touring extensively with his rock band, Wilco. The quartets are paired with Kotche’s Migrations, which plays in the softest range of the instruments, with the players using fingers, bows, and even hair combs to coax the sounds out. In the second half of the program, Steve Mackey’s Before It Is Time features vocalist Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond with the percussion group, in a piece inspired by the poetry of Isaac Maliya. The evening culminates with a Timeline, a sort of companion piece to Before It Is Time, composed by Sō Percussion and Shara Worden together.
Program Notes


Major support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation.
Public support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.
This performance is part of Fast Forward.

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