Press Materials

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“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

Chicago-area classical music picks

March 12, 2015

by John von Rhein

Third Coast Percussion: The Chicago group presents a concert showcasing newly commissioned works by emerging composers. Featured, along with music of Mark Applebaum, Adam Cuthbert, Robert Dillon and Tyshawn Sorey, will be the world premiere of Jonathan Pfeffer’s “Jonathan was killed in battle against the Philistines.” 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Constellation Chicago, 3111 N. Western Ave.; $20;

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Miller Theatre “Composer Portrait”: Augusta Read Thomas

March 5, 2015

Two of the leading young forces for contemporary music in America—the JACK Quartet and Third Coast Percussion—team up to celebrate the achievements of Thomas, long the master of an intricate and colorful modernist style. The New York première of “Resounding Earth,” a work involving more than three hundred percussion instruments, lies at the heart of a concert that also includes an excerpt from the string quartet “Sun Threads” and two world premières. (Columbia University, Broadway at 116th St. 212-854-7799. March 5 at 8.)

Read the original article here.

Third Coast Percussion To Perform Bell-Centric ‘Resounding Earth’

February 25, 2015
by Cara Lieurance
An interview with David Skidmore of Third Coast Percussion.

David Skidmore is a founder of Third Coast Percussion, which was established in Chicago in 2005. Although a percussion quartet may not be as easily visualized as a string quartet, he says it one of the ensemble’s great strengths: his group can draw on millennia of instruments from the six inhabited continents of the globe, making one Third Coast Percussion concert look, and sound, completely different from the next.

Third Coast Percussion will perform a major modern work, Resounding Earth, at Western Michigan University Wednesday night. The composer, Augusta Read Thomas, developed the piece out of her fascination for tintinnabulation, or, the sound patterns of bells. Written with Third Coast Percussion in mind, Skidmore says it is a modern masterpiece for percussion, which reveals new depths each time it is performed.

Read the original article and hear the interview here.

Ringing In the New


March 19, 2014
by Kyle MacMillan

Augusta Read Thomas is bats about bells. The nationally known Chicago composer has included them in her music and has used other instruments to evoke their ringing tone and resonance. In her new piece she takes her infatuation further than ever.

“Resounding Earth” incorporates 125 bells and other instruments and metal items that make bell-like sounds—300 objects overall. “It wasn’t like, ‘OK, now, I’ll do something crazy.'” she said. “It was to take something that was true to my music and push it all the way.”

The 35-minute piece, which next will be performed March 24 at the University of Buffalo and March 26 at Penn State Erie, was commissioned for Third Coast Percussion by the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Since the work’s world premiere in September 2012, the Chicago-based ensemble has performed it nearly 20 times across the country, with the composition’s first New York performance set for March 2015 in Columbia University’s Miller Theatre.

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Classical Playlist



May 19, 2014
by Steve Smith

DAVID T. LITTLE: ‘Haunt of Last Nightfall’
Third Coast Percussion
(New Amsterdam)
David T. Little is quickly gaining a reputation as an opera composer of substantial promise, but “Haunt of Last Nightfall,” a percussion work just over half an hour long, shows that his dramatic instincts extend well beyond the theatrical stage. Billed as a “ghost play” inspired by a 1981 massacre in El Salvador, the music moves from rusticity through violence, despair and outrage in this eloquent account by Chicago’s versatile, resourceful Third Coast Percussion.

Read the original article here.

Third Coast Percussion delivers powerful Thomas premiere at Logan Center




February 22, 2014
by Michael Cameron

It must have been heartening for contemporary music aficionados to see a nearly full house for Third Coast Percussion at the Logan Center in Hyde Park Friday. A major draw at the University of Chicago Presents event was the highly anticipated local premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’ Resounding Earth, written for the quartet in 2012 and already the focus of a highly acclaimed recording.

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Review: CMA at Transformer Station – Third Coast Percussion







January 20, 2014
by Daniel Hautzinger

Rhythm. It’s the first thing that pops into someone’s head when they hear the word “percussion.” But percussion is such a broad term that it can stretch far beyond just playing beats. Third Coast Percussion’s packed CMA concert at Transformer Station on January 19 provided many such examples of percussion’s fantastic versatility.

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Third Coast Percussion makes a hit with Ensemble Music audience at the Toby


November 15, 2013
by Jay Harvey

There was everything from the raucous to the ethereal in Third Coast Percussion’s concert Thursday night at the Indianapolis Museum of Art — offering more bang for the Ensemble Music buck.

The Chicago-based quartet, currently enjoying a residency at the University of Notre Dame, played three substantial works in the simpatico setting of the Tobias Theater, whose wide, high stage allowed the ensemble’s sounds to flower throughout the hall. Lighting was complementary, particularly in the concluding piece, Augusta Read Thomas’ “Resounding Earth,” which was written last year for the ensemble.

Three works were played by the versatile, dead-on-precise foursome of David Skidmore, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin and Sean Connors. Thomas’s celebration of bell sonorities occupied the second half, its four movements saturated with tintinnabulation, a cosmic and never darkening expansion of Edgar Allan Poe’s verse echo chamber.

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Third Coast Percussion fills hall with sound for Present Music



October 13, 2013
by Elaine

Present Music opened Saturday evening’s performance with a Vogel Hall stage filled with percussion curiosities.

Featuring the Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion Ensemble, the program began with a completely fascinating performance of “Prayer — Star Dust Orbits” from Augusta Read Thomas’s “Resounding Earth.”

The four Third Coast players created an enormous palette of sounds using standing bells (think Tibetan singing bowls). The resonant sounds of the standing bells created such vivid sounds that one could almost imagine seeing the sound waves moving through the air and bouncing off of one another.

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Ritual Reaches: Julio Estrada at Miller Theatre

May 17, 2013
by Corrina da Fonseca-Wollheim

By contrast, in “eolo’oolin,” which received a riveting performance by Third Coast Percussion, led and directed by Steven Schick, instruments were liberated, as players paraded clusters of drums around the auditorium. Rhythms morphed into pitch and harmony, creating waves of sound that seemed to coalesce as form.
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