OPERcussion is a one-of-a-kind ensemble that extracts the percussion section from the depths of the orchestra pit and thrusts it centre stage, by blending rich music history with daring innovation.
In keeping with the Munich State Opera’s long tradition of encouraging its members to explore chamber music, OPERcussion was born in 2008 from the happy association between Thomas März, Pieter Roijen, Maxime Pidoux, Carlos Vera Larrucea, and Claudio Estay, who brought their virtuosity, knowledge, diverse cultural traditions, and idiosyncrasies to the ensemble. Two of the members were originally part of percussionist Peter Sadlo’s Latin Jazz Quintet and after his sudden demise chose to honour his legacy by playing his jazz arrangements. OPERcussion rapidly expanded its repertoire and took on a distinctive life of its own, by adapting music not originally written for percussion stemming from the Baroque, Classic, and Impressionistic eras, as well as taking inspiration from Latin America. The ensemble has also collaborated and commissioned works from contemporary composers and often uses improvisational techniques in performance.
OPERcussion recently released their first CD, Original Grooves, which features rhythms from Latin America, like Chick Corea and Astor Piazzolla but also includes a work by Bach. The group will begin a world-wide tour to promote its album this summer. Humour and vibrant excitement are the trademark of this intimate ensemble, and audiences have received them warmly. “The six percussionists use their percussion treasures in a perfect choreography, both arranged and improvised, always with sparkling energy and dazzling colourfulness” (Süddeutsche Zeitung).