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World Premiere Performances of Danny Elfman's New Concertos for Cello and Percussion

Apr. 21, 2022

New concertos by Danny Elfman for cello and percussion respectively were given their first performances last month in Vienna and London. 

Danny Elfman’s Cello Concerto premiered at the Wiener Konzerthaus on March 18, with a further performance on March 20. Gautier Capuçon was the soloist, joined by conductor David Robertson and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra The concerto is cast in four movements like Elfman’s 2017 Violin Concerto and Percussion Concerto. The piece will receive subsequent performances in Paris in May and its North American premiere in San Francisco on November 11. The Cello Concerto is a joint commission from the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Wiener Konzerthaus, Orchestre Philharmonie de Radio France and the San Francisco Symphony.

Renowned percussionist Colin Currie took the stage along with an impressive battery of instruments – some specially commissioned by him for the piece – in Danny Elfman’s new Percussion Concerto on March 25 at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Ludwig Wicki conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra, who jointly commissioned the piece with Soka Performing Arts Center at Soka University who will host the US premiere of the work on April 24.

In four movements: Triangle; D.S.C.H; Down; Syncopated, the Percussion Concerto delivers real spectacle. In addition to the soloist’s extensive collection of instruments – the score lists 12, including an assortment of pots and pans and a metal ‘gizmo’ – five orchestral percussionists will add to the excitement. This is not Danny Elfman’s first piece giving percussionists center stage; his Percussion Quartet received its first performance in the Fall of 2019 from Third Coast Percussion at Philip Glass’s Days and Nights Festival in Big Sur, California.

(Teaser – Danny Elfman's Percussion Concerto – with Colin Currie)

To learn more about Danny Elfman, visit:

Danny Elfman 
Cello Concerto (2022)
for cello and orchestra
2(1, 2.pic) susp.cym(lrg, med, sml)/tgl/tam-t/pandeiro/SD/BD with cym attached/glsp/xyl/vib/chimes-cel-hp-strings placed antiphonally(min

Percussion Concerto (2022)
for percussion and orchestra
solo perc* - timp - 4perc*- pno(cel)-str(min - vns arranged antiphonally).
*Total percussion requirements: 5 SD/14 tom-t/BD/talking drum/4 glsp/2 xyl/vib/crots (2 high 8ve, 2 low 8ve)/chimes/mar (5 8ve)/tuned gongs/5 susp.cym/16 wdbl/7 wood slats/2 metal shakers/3 tamb/Chinese opera gong/4 anvils (or brake drums)/2 tam-t/9 misc dry metals (pots, pans etc)/2 misc resonant metals (eg flat gongs)/waterphone/ribbed sticks/2 Puili sticks (or 2 sets)/metal 'gizmo'. Contact publisher for complete percussion breakdown by each player (