Music critic and composer Kyle Gann recently wrote in the New York Times: “Percussion is the new violin for the 21st Century.”
Others have observed: “Percussion attracts blue hair from both generations.”
Directed by Dr. Larry Snider, Professor of Percussion at The University of Akron, the UA Percussion Ensemble is part of the current percussion explosion involving artists, composers and audience members.
The ensemble is dedicated to performing serious works by John Cage, Lou Harrison, Steve Reich, Paul Lansky, John Luther Adams, David Lang and many more notable experimental composers.
To enhance the genre and engage new audiences, the UA Percussion Ensemble has commissioned works by composers Marta Ptaszynska and Stuart Saunders Smith and, most recently, works by London microtonal composer James Wood and a marimba and vibraphone duet by composer Martin Bresnick.
Many UA percussion alumni have developed successful careers in new music, including a member of the internationally acclaimed percussion ensemble SO and all of the members of the Akros Percussion Collective that toured Germany in summer 2011.
The acclaimed Sylvia Smith New Music Archives is housed at The University of Akron as an invaluable resource for musicians and music scholars.