Press Materials


“They play as if they’re a single, eight-armed organism”
-NPR Music

“Virtuosity and deft, precisely timed wit”
-Washington Post

“Commandingly elegant”
-New York Times

-Alex Ross, The New Yorker

“An inspirational sense of fun and curiosity”
-Minnesota Star-Tribune

“The group performed with absolute aplomb”
-Boston Globe

-Chicago Tribune

“Mysterious, funny, endlessly inventive”
-Boston Classical Review

-Independent (UK)

“Technical precision, palpable groove and outstanding sound”
-Time Out New York 

-New York Times

“Savvy and hyper-talented young percussionists”
-Musical Toronto

“Fluency and zest”
-Andrew Clements, the Guardian (UK)

“Undeniably groovy…masterfully performed”
-Time Out Chicago

“One of the country’s finest new music ensembles”
-Chicago Reader

“The musicality and fierce focus of Third Coast Percussion electrified the room.”
-Sarasota Herald-Tribune 

Reviews and Features

Two Concerts, Two Audiences

January 18, 2013
by Rob Deemer

It’s always a good thing to have a trip correspond with some good new music concerts, and my week-long adventure to northern Illinois this past week allowed me to take Ellen McSweeney’s advice and attend two concerts in Chicago. Both events–the Chicago Composers Orchestra concert at the Garfield Park Conservatory and the Third Coast Percussion concert at the University of Chicago–were very successful and demonstrated why new music concerts can be diverse in content, in venue, and in audience to great effect.

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Top 20 Classical Albums of 2012

December 30, 2012
by Seth Colter Walls

Our understanding of John Cage’s value — he was more than just “4’33” — would be much poorer if not for Mode Records, which has invested in producing important albums of the composer’s works for decades. Their latest project is a comprehensive survey of Cage’s percussion pieces. The second effort in this series features Third Coast Percussion, and their virtuoso playing is as crisp as you’d expect. But more importantly, they’ve taken care to engineer these pieces properly in a studio: The grinding prepared-piano tones of “First Construction (in Metal)” have never sounded so fine.

Read the original article here.

Third Coast Percussion Goes Metal

January 10, 2013
by Graham Meyer

Percussion is different from other instruments. Percussionists learn to play not one instrument, but dozens, each with its own techniques. The sound quality of some percussion instruments, such as a snare drum or a cymbal, jumps out of the musical texture even when everyone else plays fortissimo. Some percussion instruments don’t produce a musical pitch.

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The best (and worst) opera and classical music of 2012

December 21, 2012
by Steve Smith

The best albums

John Cage, The Works for Percussion 2 (Mode)

The Cage centenary brought no few worthy albums, but this commanding overview by Chicago’s Third Coast Percussion swept the field with technical precision, palpable groove and outstanding sound.

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Best Opera & Classical Albums of 2012

December 20, 2012
by Doyle

Third Coast Percussion
John Cage: The Works for Percussion 2 (Mode)
Amid the onslaught of Cage centennial albums this year, this intimate portrait by the superlative Chicago quartet clamors its way to the top with brake drums and elephant bells.

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After the Deluge, an Outpouring of Support From Afar

December 18, 2012
by Steve Smith

CHICAGO – Business was brisk on Sunday afternoon at the Empty Bottle, a homey bar and a celebrated alternative-music nightclub in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood here. As 1 p.m. approached, patrons lined the bar and milled around throughout the club space, cradling beers and coffees. Above the bar an ancient rivalry was unfolding: the Green Bay Packers were overpowering the Chicago Bears.

As it happened, the television screen offered the only sign of conflict in a club bustling with luminaries and followers of the growing Chicago contemporary-classical music scene.

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Review: Third Coast Percussion, John Cage “The Works for Percussion 2”

June 26, 2012
by Seth Colter Walls

Historically, it’s been Cage’s “construction” pieces — written for augmented percussion ensembles that use (variously) slabs of metal and prepared pianos — that have been worst served on LP and CD. Recording this music takes real engineering skill, so one of the great gifts of the Cage centenary year is this marvelously produced effort by Third Coast Percussion.

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‘Resounding Earth’ rings into CSUS festival

October 28, 2012
by Edward Ortiz

In the career of a composer there is always that one work that stands out – as either the most difficult undertaking or as the most iconoclastic.

For noted composer Augusta Read Thomas, that likely will be the 25-minute “Resounding Earth.” It’s easy to see why. Her work, which will be performed by the Third Coast Percussion ensemble, is scored solely for metal instruments – many of which Western audiences have never heard.

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The Tolling of Bells: Third Coast Percussion Premieres Resounding Earth at Notre Dame University

October 7, 2012
by Arlene and Larry Dunn

Third Coast Percussion gave the world premiere of Resounding Earth by Augusta Read Thomas, at DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts at Notre Dame University on Sunday, September 30, 2012. This major new addition to the percussion repertoire was passionately and precisely rendered by ensemble members Owen Clayton Condon, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore.

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Bells will be ringing

September 27, 2012
by Jack Walton

Composer Augusta Read Thomas is working on a concerto for superstar cellist Lynn Harrell.

That job is a breeze compared to her new work for Third Coast Percussion, titled “Resounding Earth.”

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