Evelyn Glennie

5 ft. 3 short, with reddish curls, and nimble as a cat - that's Evelyn Glennie, who is considered the best classical percussionist in the world. Her accomplishment seems to be particularly astonishing as the 36-year-old artist from Scotland has been virtually deaf since her early teenage years. This, however, is hardly noticeable, since Glennie is a perfect lip reader, and her body has taken over a function her ears have ceased to perform. She feels the vibrations of music in different regions of her body, and she usually performs barefoot, to intensify her contact with the vibrating stage. This enables her to perceive her own instruments as well as her colleagues'. The repertory for percussion instruments has increased considerably since Glennie made her professional debut about 15 years ago, as she has commissioned more than 100 new works, and she also writes works of her own. At this point, Glennie is still the only classical percussionist who can make a living as a soloist. However, she hopes that her creativity will pave the way for other percussionists. Georg Hirsch spoke with Evelyn Glennie in New York.

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