A percussive podcast with Dame Evelyn Glennie


On a rainy Tuesday in August, 17 year-old percussionist, Isaac Harari, travelled from London to Cambridgeshire to meet one of his musical inspirations: virtuoso solo percussionist and AYM patron, Dame Evelyn Glennie.

Isaac is an exceptional classical and jazz percussionist and receives funding and support for his musical progression via our annual Awards programme. He is the 2019 recipient of our Chris Isaac Award, a special Award created in the memory of the talented musician, Chris Isaac, and generously funded by his friends and family.

As AYM patron, Evelyn invited Isaac to join her at her home studio to take part in the recording of a MusicPlus podcast for Classical Music magazine. Hosted by Chris Gunness, MusicPlus explores big ideas about the social responsibility and relevance of classical music today. Chris was keen to speak with Evelyn about her musical journey to becoming Britain’s first full-time solo percussionist and about the need for AYM’s work in today’s society:

“This is so crucial: to allow any individual, whatever their circumstance is, to have that opportunity to explore music. This country has had such an amazing [musical] history and we want an amazing future for our young people, whether they go in for music as a full time profession or whether they want music as an important part of their lives but go into other types of things. We know all of the positive things that music brings. So music must be open to all of our young people.” Dame Evelyn Glennie

Recording the podcast in Evelyn’s Aladdin’s cave of percussion instruments

The episode also features a chat between Evelyn and Isaac about how AYM is helping him achieve his musical goals and about some of the unique – and often very practical – challenges percussionists face. The recording culminated with a spontaneous improvised duet on a Rav Drum: a new instrument in Evelyn’s collection.

An impromptu improvisation

Listen to the full episode below:


After the microphones were turned off, Evelyn showed Isaac around her percussion studio and the two chatted further. Isaac has made the decision to apply for a place at a senior Conservatoire and is determined to forge a career as a performer. Evelyn was happy to share more of her own experience in the industry and about building a viable and sustainable career as a percussionist

Of the experience of meeting Dame Evelyn, Isaac reflected:


“I found it both inspiring and enlightening to hear Evelyn speak about the musical path that led her to where she is now. Also how much musical education has evolved in terms of facilitating different career paths and catering to disabilities. It was a pleasure to play with her and discover and respond to some of her musical personality in our improvisation.”


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